Between President Buhari And I: Warm Reception By Aderonke Bello
Posted On Jan 24, 2016
So, as I made my way to meet him inside the banquet hall at the state house in Abuja on January 21, the DSS blocked me and said madam you are too late you can’t enter, go back! Being the kind of person that I am – I don’t take no for an answer.
Mr. Femi Adesina was about to enter and I quickly said, editor please ask them to allow us in, we have work to do, and that was it, I was the last soul to enter the hall before the President made his way in.
I entered into the hall, few minutes later Mr. President strolled in and I giggled.
It was few weeks to the end of 2015 and thoughts were going flashing through my head about the unsung heroes that brought joys to the faces of many Nigerians in the year.
After his elections victory, I did a congratulatory message and an open letter to His Excellency explaining the state of sports in Nigeria.
As we know, sports is the only unifying factor in our already ethnically and religion divided country and it has to be taken seriously.
The president had promised to appoint technocrats as Ministers, but the sports minister is no technocrat in sports administration, although he is administratively sound, this made me take a sigh of relief – the fact that a seasoned sports administrator is the director general at the sports commission, together they can achieve a lot.
Shortly after the appeal was made, sports minister sent out a press release informing Nigerians that Mr. president is ready to host the victorious teams, and after a while, a set date was fixed and I smiled.
President Buhari made the reception a possibility and worthwhile, proving that he is a friend of the masses and of course a listener.
This however was made possible on January 21, 2016. I saw an emotional president during his speech, especially the time he mentioned his promises to the 1985 golden eaglets. A promise kept indeed.
The height of the reception was the minute silence he observed for the departed players from the 1985 squad. I just want to say a huge thank you to Mr President for listening.
This indeed is a sign that he is a great leader, a huge sign that our sports will thrive under this administration. When you have a leader who listens, he cannot go wrong. Once again, thank you Mr President.
Mr President permit me to be an Oliver Twist. In little or no time, another reception will happen which will see Nigerians clinching gold medals at the Olympics (I believe) and also the U-17 girls winning the FIFA world cup scheduled to hold this year in Jordan, they will qualify (I believe).
The Falcons who won the African cup of nations in 2014 are yet to be received by the president, I look forward to a future reception with you.
In a warm plea made to Mrs Buhari sometime last year, I urged her to carry the female athletes along as they need her motherly reach and I hope this will help.
As you can see, it was a warm reception indeed worthy of all on the long run, thank you Mr. President for listening to me, however coincidental, I am indeed humbled, for me on this one, it is mission accomplished.
Journalist, Speaker, Change Agent, Sports for development Enthusiast , Advocacy.