A former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, has called on the Federal Government to invest more in sports going by the key role the industry plays in uniting the nation.
Okiro made the call at a football match organised to mark his 74th birthday celebration in Abuja.
“Governments at all levels must endeavour to use the instrument of sports to give the youths a sense of belonging while fighting crime and other social vices in the society,” he said.
The former Chairman of the Police Service Commission used the occasion to admonish the Super Falcons to give the country credible representation at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“Sports is something we cannot toil with. We must be serious with it.
“Of course sports is a strong source of harnessing diversities that may exist in a political system for sustainable socio- economic and political development.
“Youth must be engaged through sports and this will help to reduce crime in the society both in rural and urban areas,” Okiro said.
The birthday celebration which attracted a lot of dignitaries saw FCT police women team slugging it out with St. Joseph Catholic Women Organisation team Mukassa, Gidamangoro.
The Police women team eventually won 2-0 after spirited efforts from both sides.
Dorcas Thomas and Francisca Tseke scored in each half of the encounter for the police team.
Chief host of the celebration, Alhaji Aminu Majidadi, described Okiro as an icon of security who also brought sports to the Nigerian police.
“Okiro is a very wonderful man, an elder statesman, a man who believes in one Nigeria, a man who does not discriminate, a man who shows compassion to people.
“These and so many other attributes made us celebrate him as he marks his 74th birthday today.
“We also pray and wish that he will serve as minister of police affairs in this dispensation.”
Also speaking, a childhood friend of Okiro, Alhaji Bello Ajala, said the former IGP’s legacy was top notch.
“We attended the same primary school, the same secondary school and we are very close.
“He is a man of the people who has done much for the Nigeria Police; the image of the force became alive because of his love for professionalism.
“Yes he is a professional to the core and does not tolerate indiscipline. Thank God that sports is being used to celebrate him today.
“He is indeed a lover of sports especially football and track Field events.”
Coordinator of the friendly football match, Anselem Baha, highlighted the contributions of the former IGP in repositioning the image of the force.
According to Baha, the friendly football match is used to celebrate Okiro because of his love for football.
“And this is why we decided to use this football match to signpost his love for sports and you know with sports there is no division.
“We have succeeded in using sports to preach peace, tolerance and togetherness.”
Medals, trophies and other memorabilia were handed out to winners and guests who graced the occasion.