The Head Coach, 03 Athletics Foundation, Ganiyu Adenuga, has advised the Federal Government to partner with private organizations to rehabilitate Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the “Almajiris’’ through sports.
Adenuga gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while giving an insight to how the IDPs and the almajiris (street children) could help to develop sports.
He said that the IDPs and the almajiris could be engaged in different sports with help coming from private organisations, adding that government needed to provide the facilities.
“Government should look into the programmes of the IDPs and almajiris to see how it can include sports as one of the rehabilitation programmes.
“Most of the restive youths can have their energy channelled to sports. They are restless because they have a lot of energy which they need to burn out.
“An adage says `an idle hand is a devil’s workshop’, so once youths have nothing to do, no employment, no school, something must occupy them, that is why many take to crime.
“Sports will engage these youths actively, but the government should consider providing the facilities and encourage private organisations to take over,’’ he said.
Adenuga, an athletics coach, said that there were many opportunities that abound in sports which the government could explore to solve the problems of insurgency in the northern part of the country.
“Sports provide lots of opportunities that government can explore, we have athletics, under which we have track and field events, football, handball, swimming and others.
“By the time government engages the youth in one type of sport or other, they would have filled up the spaces and more than that, they should be expecting to have champions.
“What I have seen from my experience is that about one out of three children in the north are sports inclined. So, we have a big opportunity presenting itself here.
“We, as a private organisation is ready, but government needs to provide the roadmap which we will work with and I believe the issue arising from insurgency will be past,’’ he said.
Adenuga said that other regions in the country could do the same by helping to teach the children acts of discipline through sports.
“Others can also instill discipline in their children through sports. Sports teach discipline and dedication depending on the way they take it.
“I have motivation training school children because they are raw talents that we can build up.
“The problem with it is that they don’t get competitions or exposed to the right competitions. I like to take them either to competitions or camp them and monitor their education.
“At the grassroots development level, we mentor them and keep their databases. We also encourage that they are trained on Saturdays, evening and holidays,’’ he said. (NAN)