By Victor Akaa, Abuja
The Nigeria’s Brig. Gen. Maikano Abdullahi is canvassing for support as he vies for the President of Organisation of Military Sports in Africa (OMSA) and the Vice President of International Military Sports Council (IMSC) coming up in October 1,2020.
Brig. Gen. Maikano Abdullahi,who currently serves as the Deputy Director of Sports at the Defence Headquarters, is vying the exalted seat of the Organization of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA), alongside with other contenders drawn from Kenya, Algeria, and Guinea Conakry.
Addressing journalists in Abuja about his candidature, the Nigeria’s sport loving Military General promised to project the image of Nigeria as well as organise series of military sporting activities that could be of great importance to Nigerian and Africa if given the mandate.
Gen. Abdullahi who has vast experience in sports due to his active participation and the number of positions held including the pioneer Secretary -General of OSMA believed his candidacy deserves and merits this exalted seat of the organization most importantly
given that Nigeria is a strong Pillar of CISM and the Founding Father of OSMA.
Explaining further, the OSMA Presidential hopeful maintained that, he will deepen and consolidate on delivering the gains as well as the achievements of the organisation in organising sporting activities if emerged winner of the election.
The former Basketball Player of Nigeria Army further explained that his track record of achievements and reservoir of knowledge in sports, has necessitated his intention to contest for the seat as well as informed the decision o the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Burata to nominate him.
“My vast experience in Sports, Fitness and Training coupled with my participation in both National and International Military and Civil Sporting activities enhanced my nomination for this post.
“I am a fellow and member of National Association of Physical and Health Education Recreation Sports and Dance (NAPHER-SD). I have won several National and International Awards in Cameroun, CISM Headquarters Belgium, Burkina Faso, Niger and Republic of Guinea to mention but few.
“As a Senior Officer in Defence Headquarters Abuja and Deputy Director Sports, if given the mandate, I will project the good image of Nigeria better in both CISM and OSMA; promote Military Sports in Nigeria and Africa.
“I will also ensure that our Continent is adequately represented in all CISM sporting events and World General Assemblies and it will also give me the opportunity to promote sports and encourage good sporting relationship among the 51 African Countries.” he explained.
He further stated though the organisation cut across membership of Anglophone and Francophone saying, he understands both languages including Arabic and Hausa, this he said has made him relate well with both countries to galvanise support for the election.
The OSMA presidential contender also explained that , the CDS has directed the Defence Intelligence Agency to communicate all Nigeria’s Defence Advisers to get in touch with the participating countries to canvass for votes in favour of him to be reciprocated if eventually wins.
He however expressed worry that his tough contender is a contestant from Kenya who is also an English speaking country that might share votes with him within the English speaking member countries of the organisation.
He therefore enumerated some of the achievements done by the Chief of Defence Staff in the area of sports since 2015, regular payment of Membership Annual dues of CISM, OSMA and Walo from 2015 every year to date 2020, renovation of all sporting facilities in Mogadishu Cantonment.
Others are creation of Barracks Male and Female Youth Sports Championship that includes Basketball, Badminton, Handball, Football, Chess and Rugby annually,Participation of Nigerian Armed Forces Teams in international sporting activities such as, World Military Games in Wuhan China in 2019, before COVID, World Military Skills Competition in South Africa 2018 and 2019, among others.
If emerged as the President of OSMA, the President automatically becomes the Vice President of International Military Sports Council also known as Consiel International Du Sport Militarie (CISM)
The CISM which has 136 member countries since 1972 is responsible for organising and coordinating the Military Sports in the world
While the OSMA in the other hand has 51 member countries within the continent was founded in 1994 by Nigerian, Maj. Gen. Ishola Williams (Rtd),became fully operational in 2008 with its Headquarters in Yaounde, Cameroun
Due to the Covid -19 pandemic the general election which holds in October 1,2020 will be conducted via virtual and zooming conferencing with delegates drawn from all the 51 African member countries of OSMA.