Lagos – AIG Bala Hassan of Zone 2 Police Command has inaugurated a 21-member Local Organising Committee (LOC) to organise a competition to select its athletes for the biennial Nigeria Police Games.
The Police Games are to hold from March 17 to March 28 in Abuja.
Hassan said the motive of the Games was to invigorate policemen to once more assert their dominance in sports.
Hassan told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the inauguration held at the board room of Zone 2 Command at Onikan, Lagos that police athletes had not been doing so well lately.
“Many years back, and in the 1990s, police officers lead in sporting activities, but now it is a downward trend which ought not to be so.
“The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Solomon Arase, ordered the inauguration of the committees across the zones to help in the rebuilding process of police sports.
“This process is to ensure that police sportsmen and women get back to the center stage.
`The 1976 Green Eagles had policemen in it. Chioma Ajunwa won Nigeria’s very first Olympic gold medal.
“Our previous IG’s started the revitalisation by introducing the biennial Police Games to hold starting from the zonal level across the country,’’ he told NAN.
“We are trying to use the Games to help Nigeria sports redeem its lost glory.
“We are targeting a situation where police athletes redeem its former position of dominance in sports,’’ Hassan said.
The AIG added that sports had advanced so much from what it used to be in the 1990’s and that it required more funding now.
“Virtually all sports have moved to electronic means. There are devices used for scoring, measurement and what have you.
“The police force has the materials and athletes but I can’t assure that we have the facilities.
“The force is interfacing with the National Sports Commission (NSC) so that our athletes can use the national stadia across the country.
“They need modern equipment to train so as to be at par with their counterparts in advanced countries,’’ he said.
On funding, Hassan said that the force usually sought for funds from philanthropic Nigerians and corporate organisations.
“It is not something we can do alone, so, we always seek for sponsorship. In the force also we have sport levy which is normally taken from source from police officers’ salary.
“This money is normally used in hosting of national competitions and off course, it can’t be enough to execute our programmes,’’ Hassan said.
He appealed to Nigerians to invest in sports so that Nigeria can be among the nations dominating global sports.
“The NSC can’t do it all alone. They need all the support they can get.
“I have a children’s golf club in Jos and that is my contribution to sports development.
“I am a lover of golf and that brought about the establishment of the club in 2013.
“The club comprises of children of police officers and children from the community aged between 7 and 14.
“That is the best age bracket to start the grooming process in golf and indeed sports generally.
“I intend to play at the Games in March and I hope to win some medals. The Games is also an avenue to unwind and mingle with others irrespective of rank,’’ he said. (NAN)