Nigerian judo has been missing a lot in the comity of nations of the sport in the world not because the country has no quality and good judokas, coaches, and referees, but the administration of the game has been left with nonpractitioners who know nothing about the rudiments of how to administer the sport.
This was the submission of Dr. Musa Oshodi, former Vice President of Nigeria Judo Federation (NJF), who said that the development of judo in Nigeria lies strongly in getting a professional as the president to head the federation.
The seasoned judokas, whose foray into the combat sport started way back in 1977, lamented that despite quality judokas Nigeria can boast of today, the administration of judo over the years has been left in the hands of mediocre “who are only after what they can get from judo not what they can inject as adding values into the sport to reposition it.”
“This is so sad anytime I look at enormous potentials Nigeria has in judo but we have been relegated to the background because we cannot air our voice in the world of judo.
“Judo like other sports is operated as a fraternity, if you are not one of them, you cannot be part of them. The fraternity is so high in these combat sports that if you don’t know the technicality and the language you will be treated like an alien.
“This is how Nigeria has been treated over the years by the World Judo. Nigeria is the only country in Africa where we have a nonpractitioner as the President and this has eroded the prestige, regards, and honor that should come to us as the ‘giant of Africa’.
“You can imagine countries like Chad and Madagascar are fielding candidates for the position of President of Africa Judo Federation (AJF). Is Nigeria not big enough to vie for the Presidency of AJF? Unfortunately, we can’t go near this because we don’t have a president who can speak the language of the sport, we don’t have a president who other African presidents would see as one of their own.
“This is a big problem we are having at the international arena. We have no voice among the powers that be in the world of judo and this has deprived us of a lot of benefits from judo international bodies. You can imagine if we were to be well-positioned to play the politics and the diplomacy, what Nigeria could have benefited from this relationship and engagements.
“It is high time we reposition and repackaged ourselves at the home front and get it right now by selecting a practitioner as the President of Nigeria Judo Federation. Thank goodness, the election into the Boards of various sports federations is around the corner.
“I want to assure that the stakeholders are ready because this is our sport. The athletes, coaches, referees, chairmen across geo-political zones, and other stakeholders are ready. We are the ones suffering because of this anomaly. This must be corrected if we must safe judo in Nigeria,” said Dr. Oshodi, who is holding a double cap as the Chairman of both Oyo and Ekiti states judo associations