Nigeria @ 63: SWAN President urges members to promote unity, peace, national pride
As Nigeria celebrates her independence anniversary, the President of Nigerian Sports Writers Association, Comrade Isaiah Benjamin has reminded sports writers of their role in nation-building, he urged them to use their platform to promote unity, peace, and national pride through their coverage of sports events.
He encouraged members to highlight the positive aspects of Nigerian sports.
This was contained in the SWAN President’s Good-Will message to the members on the occasion of the 2023, 63rd Nigeria’s Independence anniversary signed by the SWAN Secretary General, Comrade Ikenna Okonkwo.
Me Benjamin noted that the challenges faced by sports journalists in the country, including limited resources, inadequate infrastructure, and the need for continuous capacity building. However, he urged members to see these challenges as opportunities to excel and make a positive impact on the sports industry.
Comrade Benjamin emphasized the importance of professionalism in sports journalism, stating that members must adhere to ethical standards and report accurately and objectively.
He called on sports writers to be the voice of the voiceless athletes, to tell their stories and highlight their achievements, as well as to hold sports administrators accountable for their actions.
The SWAN President also stressed the need for unity among members, urging them to work together towards the common goal of promoting sports in Nigeria. He encouraged collaboration and networking among sports writers, as well as the sharing of knowledge and experiences to enhance their skills and improve the quality of their work.
Benjamin also called on the government and relevant stakeholders to prioritize sports development in the country. He emphasized the need for increased investment in sports infrastructure, grassroots development programs, and the welfare of athletes.
He also urged the government to create an enabling environment for sports journalists to thrive, including providing access to information, protecting press freedom, and supporting capacity-building initiatives.
“Our role as watchdogs of the society has been further demonstrated in the high level of dedication and focus in fulfilling our mandate from the onset of existence, four years after Nigeria gained Independence as a sovereign nation in 1960.
“The Sports Writers charged with coordinating the activities of the Nigeria media in the promotion of sports and its socio-cultural values have refused to give up despite daunting challenges.
“Rather we have kept pushing to ensure that both discovered and yet-to-be-discovered young athletes are given opportunities to showcase their God-given talents which in turn place Nigeria on a high pedestal in the comity of Nations, thereby attracting business entrepreneurs and real-time investors to boost the country’s economy in all facets with the creation of jobs for teeming youth from generation to generation being major takeaway,” he stressed.
In his appeal, Comrade Benjamin further called on the stakeholders, especially, top sports leaders in the country, and corporate bodies to join SWAN to achieve more for the country which should be keyed toward sports development instead of relying on the current level of achievement.
However, Mr Benjamin expressed optimism that the new glory days of sportswriting are just around the corner, while also emphasizing that the wellbeing of SWAN members will remain a key factor moving forward.
“As a leader, we will soon come up with a well-designed Blueprint for this. By February 2024 when SWAN will be celebrating its 60 years of existence, we will roll out further insights,” he maintained.
The number one Sports Writer in Nigeria has congratulated President Bola Tinubu, Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh, Sports Federation Presidents, other sports administrators, and all sports-loving Nigerians on Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Anniversary.
The writer also praised Chief Donatus Agu-Ejidike, Nigeria’s Pillar of Sports, for generously rewarding athletes at the National Youth Games (NYG) in Asaba.
Chief Agu-Ejidike gave N100,000 each to three athletes who won gold medals at the NYG. These athletes include Eteimo Victory in Karate (47kg female), Esther Ezenwa in Weightlifting (45 Female), and Stephen Godswill in Weightlifting (-49kg Male).
The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) President commended Chief Agu-Ejidike for his generosity and called on other well-to-do individuals to follow his example.
The SWAN President described Chief Agu-Ejidike’s gesture as unique and encouraged others to support and reward young athletes in Nigeria.