The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has charged Kamaru Usman to use his clout to develop Martial Arts in Nigeria.
The Minister made this appeal on Friday, 11 June, 2021 when he hosted the champion in his office in Abuja.
“Today we just hit another notch of excitement as a Ministry and as a country having Kamaru Usman who is nicknamed “Nightmare” for his opponents in the octagon country,” he said.
Usman who has a staggering 19 wins out of 20 fights has established himself as a legend in the Welterweight category. Usman embodies two cultures; Nigerian by birth and an American by immigration having moved to the USA at the age of 8 and is returning to the country for the first time as an adult.
The Minister said “it is commendable for you to have identified fully with your country and also the Ministry that has the mandate for Sports Development. The Ministry is concerned with the large number of youths who are engaged in sports and interested in your kind of sports because it has become a rave falling under the radar of the mixed Martial Art and we are concerned about growing it. Having you here, as the champion, thus will be great to have you headline that and start to see how at a national level and as a country we can work together to see your success impact other youth to be interested in this sport.
“Your story is well told, you signify the Nigerian Spirit; that of being dogged and rising to the top. The feats you have achieved is no mean feat. For me I can’t say it enough; countries must leverage on their strength not dwell and emphasize their weaknesses and you have sign-post the good from Nigeria. As the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, we celebrate you and thank you for being a true Nigerian and remaining patrotic not just to share your success but to identify with the country. The greatest beneficiaries of this visit will be the youths of the country who are interested in the Mixed Martial Art.”
Kamaru expressed excitement over the rousing reception. “I’m delighted to be here and above all my visit to the country is aimed at creating a long lasting relationship. I represent Martial Art now and I want to work on making it easily accessible for everyone interested. I understand the responsibilities that I have with my platform and I want to put that to good use. I want to be able to effect changes in creating that foundation so people can actually see a future, different from what they are now. I understand the restrictions but with my space I want to be able to create something that will pull interested people out,” he assured.