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Sports: Taraba Govt To Establish Sports Academy – Commissioner



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By Yarima Sani, Jalingo 

The Taraba State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Hassan Bappa on Wednesday revealed that arrangements are in the pipeline by the state government to establish a sports Academy in the state.

Bappa announced this when he received the President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Mr. Ahmadu Musa Kida on a courtesy visit in his office in Jalingo, the state capital.

He said maintained that because of Governor Ishaku’s passion for sports, plans are also underway to establish a polo club in the state capital to reduce unemployment among the youth and improve the internal generation revenue for the state.

“The governor is a sports lover because he plays Gulf, so he believes that when we established the sports academy, it is not only for Taraba State youth but people from other states of the federation, and even from other neighboring countries can come and study here.

“You know there are two things that are involved, like in the morning they will go to classes for the theory while in the evening time they will go for the practical, so, you see, you will get a certificate and at the same time get a skill that you will become self-reliant.

“Governor Darius Ishaku believes so much in entrepreneurship. We have a lot of young talents and we will make sure we discover them, train them and sell them out to the world because we also have veterans in sports that will also be engaged to achieve the set goals. We have already designated land for the proposed polo club at the Jolly Nyame Stadium as well,” Bappa added.

Hon. Hassan Bappa appreciated the President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Mr. Ahmadu Musa, and his entourage for the kind gesture and assured him of Governor Darius Ishaku’s led administration’s commitment towards sports development and youth empowerment in the state.

Earlier, the President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Mr. Ahmadu Musa Kida who appreciated the Commissioner for giving him an audience, pledged to develop basketball in Taraba State.

Exciting for the cordial working relationship between the Commissioner and the state Director of Sports Council, George Shitta, Kida urged them to maintain the tempo.

Kids also noted that within the short period for both of them in office, the state had recorded a lot of success in sports development in the state that includes the winning of Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals during the Edo 2020 National Youths Games, and the just concluded National Sports Festival Delta 2022 that was held in Asaba.

According to him, many basketball players in Taraba State have distinguished themselves in various competitions, hence his passion to develop the game in the State.

Mr. Ahmadu Musa Kida appealed to the State Government to renovate the Jolly Nyame Stadium to measure up with the needed standard to host competitions.

However, the state Director of Sports Council, Coach George Shitta had earlier told the commissioner that the President who is in the State for the Annual general meeting of the Local Olympic Committee which will take place on Thursday the 15th of December 2022 in Jalingo, is vying for the position of treasurer.

Shitta also appreciated the President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation for his support of the sport’s development in the state and appreciated Governor Darius Ishaku for giving them approval that enabled them to participate in all the festivals during his regime.

Meanwhile, a high-powered delegation arrived in Jalingo on Wednesday ahead of the Annual General Meeting of the Local Olympic Committee led by the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dariye was represented during a courtesy visit to Governor Darius Ishaku at the Government House Jalingo, but the Minister is expected to arrive in the state today Thursday 15/12/2022 for the event.

The former Chairman of Adamawa United Fc and Adamawa Queens Football club, Mr. Emmanuel Zira, and many others were among the entourage of the president.

The National Deputy President of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria who is also vying for the Position of President come 2023 (SWAN), Alhaji Sadiq Abubakar Moyoyo, and the Taraba State Chairman of SWAN, Mr. Joachim Dangana among those that received the President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation.

Meanwhile, thirty-eight (38) National Sports Federations are currently holding their elective congress in Taraba State with forty-two (42) voting delegates.

In another development, Governor Darius Ishaku has just become a member of the Olympics Family and received an Award of Excellence from the President of Olympics Committee, Dr. Habu Gumel at the Government House Jalingo on Thursday 15th December 2022.

Governor Darius Ishaku appreciated the gesture, and assured the NOC of his determination to continue contributing to the development of sports not only in Taraba State but the nation at large.

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FCT SWAN Celebrates Hot Coal Boss At 50




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By Our Reporter 

The FCT Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) congratulated prominent sports investor and philanthropist, Dr. Ubon Udoh, on his 50th birthday.

Dr. Udoh, founder of the Hot Coal Basketball Club of Abuja and MD/CEO of the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative for Africa (ASRi) at BUA Group, celebrates his golden jubilee this week.

In a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja, FCT SWAN Chairman Kelechi Onwudiwe praised Dr. Udoh’s remarkable achievements and extended best wishes for his future endeavors.

“The FCT Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) joins your family, friends, and well-wishers to celebrate this milestone,” Onwudiwe said. “As a seasoned sports philanthropist, investor, and promoter, your contributions to the development of sports in Nigeria are highly commendable. Your dedication to nurturing young talents through the Hot Coal and Hot Sizzlers Basketball Clubs in the FCT is a testament to your passion for the game.

“Your leadership as MD/CEO of the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative for Africa (ASRi) at BUA Group reflects your exceptional professional skills and expertise. We pray that this new chapter in your life brings you continued success, good health, and fulfillment,” the statement concluded.

Dr. Udoh was recently appointed to the National Philanthropic Office (NPO) committee by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which supports SME startups.

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SALLAH: SWAN President, Benjamin Greets Muslim, Reaffirms Commitment To Purposeful Leadership




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Appreciates Father’s

By Sani Yarima, Jalingo 

The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) celebrated Eid-el-Kabir with the Muslim Ummah in a grand manner on Sunday. 

SWAN President, Mr. Isaiah Benjamin, conveyed his best wishes through the Association’s Secretary-General, Amb. Ikenna Okonkwo. 

He emphasized the importance of love, sacrifice, and selflessness in our daily lives on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.

He extended warm greetings, “Eid Mubarak! May this special day bring you joy, peace, and prosperity. May Allah’s blessings be upon you and your loved ones.” 

Mr. Benjamin underscored the need for sports media professionals to work together in unity, guided by ethical values exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Furthermore, he emphasized the message of Eid al-Adha as a reminder of the commandment to show love to one another and maintain peaceful interpersonal relationships. 

He urged SWAN members to uphold these values and extend compassion and support to those in need, especially during the current challenging times.

Additionally, the top Sports Writer in Nigeria extended greetings to all practitioners, especially men, on Father’s Day. 

He emphasized the importance of celebrating and honoring fathers as pillars of homes and society.

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Irish-Born Nigerian Defender Nwubani Joins  Bundesliga Club VfL Bochum




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In a move that has excited soccer fans across Nigeria and Ireland, former Flying Eagles center-back Osinachi Keleb Nwubani has signed with German Bundesliga club VfL Bochum. 

The 21-year-old defender penned a 2-year contract with the option for an additional 1-year extension on April 12th, 2024.

Nwubani, who was born in Ireland to Nigerian parents, has long been regarded as one of the brightest young prospects in African football. 

After impressing with the Flying Eagles, Nigeria’s U-20 national team, Nwubani has now earned the opportunity to showcase his talents on the big stage of the Bundesliga.

“I’m thrilled to be joining a historic club like VfL Bochum,” Nwubani said in his first interview as a Bochum player. “This is a tremendous opportunity for me, and I’m eager to give my absolute best and help the team achieve success.”

The 6ft 3 versatile defender, who can play both in the center of defense and as a full-back, will now have the chance to represent either Nigeria or the Republic of Ireland at the senior international level. 

Both national teams have been monitoring his progress closely, and his decision on which country to pledge his allegiance to will be highly anticipated.

As Nwubani embarks on this new chapter in his career, Nigerian fans will be eagerly hoping that he provides answers to Super Eagles’ defensive problems.

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