The Chairman, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, Alhaji Gbolagade Busari has called on sports writers in Oyo State to remain united and shun all forms of distractions aimed at fuelling crisis within their professional association.
Busari made the call in Ibadan at the Ramadan lecture organised by Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Oyo State Chapter.
He urged members not to allow themselves to be used by those who were bent on creating crisis to satisfy selfish interests.
“I am a veteran in journalism and a member of SWAN for many years, so I know what operates in the association and the real members.
“I am here because the real sport journalists are organising this Ramadan lecture. I am here with the likes of Ade Somefun. I sent Rasheed Balogun, 3SC General Manager, on an errand, he would have been here too.
“You should remain united and not allow those outsiders trying to cause crisis in the state chapter of the association to achieve their ulterior motive,’’ he said.
Mr Ade Somefun, a former Sports Editor of Nigerian Tribune, also called for a united SWAN in the state, urging members to avoid all forms of distractions.
He commended Oyo SWAN for organising the programme to educate stakeholders, urging them not to relent on such initiatives.
General Manager, Oyo State Sports Council, Mr Gboyega Makinde commended SWAN for organising the lecture, saying the council would continue to encourage this.
“Last year during the maiden edition, this gathering prayed for the confirmation of my appointment as General Manager. The appointment has been confirmed and I received my letter today,’’ he said.
The guest lecturer, Amb. Romoke Ayinde said sports could be used to promote religion if athletes were pious and use it as a vehicle towards achieving this.
Ayinde, the Chief Executive Officer, KAYROM LEE Gym, in her lecture entitled ` Sports as Vehicle for Promotion of Islam,” said many sportsmen had used sports to promote Islam.
“Akeem Olajuwon used Basketball, his kind of sport, as a vehicle to promote Islam in the US and a mosque was built very close to his training ground. So also is Mohammed Ali, who changed his name from Cassius Clay.
“Ali went to Mecca and immediately changed his name and became an Alhaji. He continued to be a winner in the ring and many changed to Islam,’’ she said.
She also recalled how some ex-internationals like late Rashidi Yekini, late Muda Lawal and Mutiu Adepoju used their attitudes and commitment to their beliefs in promoting Islam.
Oyo SWAN Chairman, Mr Niyi Alebiosu said the association would not relent in promoting sports at any available opportunity.
He expressed gratitude to the guest lecturer, veterans, administrators and SWAN members for their unflinching support, promising that the association would remain united.
Among other guests present at the event were Mr Femi Johnson, Assistant Director of News, Nigeria Television Authority, AbdulHakim Owolabi, the State Sports Council Imam and a host of well wishers.