Congratulatory Message To World Champion Tobiloba By The Citizenship Civic Awareness Centre


Congrats Tobi for the golden feat. A leeson to learn. Great performance unites failure divides.

We can see now how Excellence unites the nation again without any preaching across tribe, religion, political parties and gender as all Nigerians rise in jubilation to celebrate our own beautiful, energetic and athletic Tobi Amusan the latest world athletic gold champion in 100m hurdles event.

Failure as exemplifies by our rogue failed political leaders divides the citizens along our fault lines as these rogue leaders always and quickly withdrawn into their ethnic and religious shells and mobilize many living fools on parade, quickly dressed them up in ethnic, political and religious garb to defend their leaders’failures and forget their own sorrow as victims. .

When leaders show excellence in service it shows just as their failure also shows. You don’t need to tell a child or an adult that sugar is sweet, it speaks for itself, bitter leaf is bitter, it speaks for itself in your mouth. Good leadership speaks for itself in great performance, promises fulfilled we see and feel.

Tobi’s contagious tears of joy before the whole world while the national anthem was being played is instructive. Perhaps she remembered her country she loves so much but she has to leave her in the distressed hands of failed leaders and failed government for greener pasture.

The young 25 year old Amazon of Sport could have remembered the popular folksong : “oh my home, when shall I see me my home, when shall I see my native land, I shall never forget my home” . Can she relocate to Nigeria one day? That sounds like a nightmare to many ears of citizens living or have escaped to developed countries. The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain is a call to duty to greatness from the present rotteness in the country through our individual and collective efforts with determination and sacrifice.

Before Tobi, there were great female heroes of sports, the likes of Modupe Oshikoya, Chioma Ajunwa, Blessing Okagbare, Onyeama and tl great others. Just recently, Asisat Oshoala became the record fifth African Women’s Football Player of the Year Award. Women are exceptional gender, with slight opportunity to excel they perform excellently. I can attest to that severally. But unfortunately, many of these great potentials have been reduced to mere seductive dancers and praise singers to rogue politicians at campaign grounds and places of pleasure due to poverty of knowledge of their potentials.

Sport should not die. When sport dies, the youth life and the nation’s future die with it. That’s one of the lessons to learn, unlearn and relearn from Tobi’s tears of joy.

Tobi’s glowing success reminds me of those golden years of National stadium and Liberty Stadium when boys and girls regularly strolled in with their bats, balls, jersey, kits to play and swim in daylight and evening with the stadium lights beaming above the beautiful sky of Adeniran Ogun Sanya strret, Bassie Ogamba, Adebola, Shita and other adjoining streets in the old unpolluted well planned Lagos. I liked to stroll to the stadium to see young beautiful girls swimming.

The day one young lady swimmer decided to climb the stairs and jump from the highest feet above into the deepest level below I was too shocked to believe. When I made enquiry about her I was told she was from Rivers state preparing for a national swimming competition. She was already a gold medalist. So recently when my girls said they wanted to learn how to swim, I didn’t hesitate much before I bought swimming trunk for them and told their mum to take out to one new hotel nearby to learn swimming. I derived my courage to allow them from my experience of that courageous young female swimmer. That’s the extent of sport influence in family and nation’s life. They love the experience and are always eager to go every weekend now.

Then in our Lagos neighborhood, there’s hardly a house in the aforementioned areas that didn’t have one or two children as upcoming athletes, cyclists, footballers or regular visitors to these national monument of joy and incubators of future champions. In our house alone we had two female swimmers. During weekend, more youths trooped to stadium to play, to be coached or just for tourism. Privatization and commercialisation coupled with bad governance have almost destroyed that memorable youth experience now. Many fields for sportinh activities in local government areas in Lagos, and other states have been sold by the notorious Omo Onile or drug addicted gangsters, the one million boys and one minute silence boys who hold allegiance to unscrupulous political gangsters. The Amao Agege sport arena where neighbood boys play soccer is being encroached gradually. I will advise Agege local government to buy off the land if it does not belong to government already before Omo Onile aka land grabbers sells it off. Local government authorities should provide sport arena for our youths for discovery more Tobis in different sporting activities. Suru Lere local government area used to have many sport arena in those days but almost all have gone. It’s quite unfortunate that we don’t realize the value of catch them young sporting activities and potential in our youths. Many private sports academy are dying or too expensive for the poor but talented youthd to attend. Government and public goods driven private sectors should assist in this regards.

Many national monuments for sports are literally dead and many ambitions of youth died with them the moment government came with the pro-capitalist anti-youth neo-liberal Structural Adjustment Programme, the economic policies of privatization, deregulation, devaluation and commercialisation of public utilities including national stadium and other public stadia for youth development.

The crazy apostles of”government has no business in business slogan completed the total destruction of sport and recreation centres for youth. How can government have business with our collective resources and commonwealth but won’t have business in the business of citizens welfare. That crazy idea brought us to the sorry stage because government officials now have more fund to loot.

The last I was in ibadan recently my friends took me out to Liberty Stadium for beer and peppersoup relaxation. Almost the whole place is now a vast arena of drinking and toasting joints, it was a sorry sight, a sad reminder of how successive rogue governments have destroyed our youth and sport life as a nation. Today Liberty Stadium built by Awolowo regime would have “produced” more beer drinkers, palmwine drinkers, toasters and run girls than the total number of athletes and footballers that had trained or played in that place since its establishment. Apart from this, politicians, religious merchants, Owambe parties makers and regular quickie practitioners have taken over the whole place for events and romantic spree. It can’t be more terrible to behold.

With this kind of our new national life, many Tobis’ ambitions in sport have been killed and since nature abhors vacuum, such Tobis who should have been flying the nation’s flag of honour in athletes, football, badminton, swimming, boxing, wrestling are now in club houses as runs girls. The lucky ones that struggled to gain admission into our dying universities are always sent home regularly frustrated due to irresponsiblility of successive governments including the incumbent that promised change, to see education as a topmost priority for funding.

With good education and sport opportunities alone, insecurity and youth unemployment will be largely resolved.

Dont blame the youth alone they are under pressure of misgovernance and rogue leaders as role models.

Congratulations Tobi, a new light in the nation’s dark tunnel. Let us all stand for the CHAMPION!
Adeola Soetan
Citizenship Civic Awareness Centre
aka Democracy Vanguard

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