Prince Timothy Nsirim, President of the Nigeria Judo Federation (NJF) have urged judokas in Nigeria to sheath their sword and focus on the growth of the sport in Nigeria.
The newly sworn in President NJF said he’s determined to make judo a household name despite the internal wrangling.
“For how long are we going to fight ourselves? The election has come and gone, what I expect is for everyone of us to embrace ourselves, sit on a round table and discuss how the sports is going to be great again. Dry bones shall rise again” said Nsirim
Nsirim in an interview with ACLSports.com promised to take Judo to Primary and secondary schools along the length and breadth of Nigeria through the support of other board members.
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“Also Multinational companies should, as a matter of fact, invest in Judo and other sports in the country because back in their country they are part of the success story of their sportsmen but in Nigeria they display a lukewarm attitude to sports development.”
Meanwhile, Former National Champion, Olatunji Ogidan said the emergency of Timothy Nsirim will bring another four years of inactivity into the federation adding that Judo may experience setbacks by not attending invitational tournaments.
Ogidan revealed to ACLSports.com that their is a possibility of him not attending any National competition under Nsirim regime.
“I must be honest with you, I’m not happy about that emergence of Nsirim as President. He’s a nice guy but surrounded by people who will not give him advice that will move the federation forward” Ogidan said.
“As for me (Ogidan), I’ve made up my mind not to participate in any of Nsirim led national event. I speak for myself and not my state because I’m not an hypocrite. This is a decision I after the sports ministry declared Nsirim President of the federation” he noted.
Some athletes (names withheld) who spoke to our reporter appealed to the stakeholders to chart a way forward for Judo to grow.
They revealed that Nigeria Judokas have missed several tournaments for the past four years adding that the nation athletes are now missing in current ranking.
“The power tussle is really affecting us I must tell you. The South West and South South are making it difficult for the game to thrive. Every now and then, they try impeaching Nsirim but the process is always thwarted. I hope they support him this time around” they concluded.
It will be recalled that during the last dispensation of the Nigeria Judo Federation led by current President, Prince Timothy Nsirim, board members could not succeed in impeaching Nsirim despite pulling gladiators from other regions of the country.