Mikel Obi follows Okocha, takes on government role as Sports Advisor

Mikel Obi follows Okocha, takes on government role as Sports Advisor
Photo by Icon Sport

In a move aimed at bolstering sports development and excellence in Plateau State, former Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi has been appointed the Honorary Advisor of Sports by the Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang.

Plateau State Governor appoints John Mikel Obi as Sports Advisor

Mikel Obi appointment as the Honorary Advisor on Sports was approved alongside other key appointments, as announced in a statement issued by the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Gyang Bere, on Thursday.

The Governor, in his commitment to rebuilding a solid foundation of excellence in the state, also appointed rapper Jude Abaga, popularly known as MI, as the Honorary Advisor on Entertainment and Creativity.

Both Mikel Obi and MI are highly respected individuals in their respective fields and are expected to bring their expertise and passion to their new roles.

Mikel Obi
Credit: Icon Sport

Mikel Obi, a former Chelsea and Nigeria national team midfielder, has had an illustrious football career, earning accolades and respect on both the domestic and international stages.

His experience as a professional footballer and a leader on the field is expected to be instrumental in shaping the sports landscape in Plateau State.

With his appointment as Honorary Advisor on Sports, Mikel Obi now has the opportunity to contribute to the development of sports infrastructure, talent identification, and youth engagement in the state.

His knowledge and understanding of the game can inspire a new generation of athletes and promote sports as a vehicle for positive change and social cohesion.

Beyond Mikel Obi: Governor strengthens team

Alongside Mikel Obi's appointment, other key positions were also filled by competent individuals in various sectors. The Plateau State government made several key appointments across various sectors, signifying its commitment to improving healthcare, governance, and economic development.

Prof. Christopher Yilwan was appointed Chief Medical Director of Plateau Specialist Hospital, and Dr. Agabus Manasseh became Director General of Plateau State Contributory Health Care Management Agency.

Additionally, Mr. Mathew Dawap was appointed General Manager of Plateau Mineral Development Company Limited, and Mrs. Helen Dabup as Executive Secretary of Local Government Service Pension Board.

Other appointments include positions in agriculture, gender affairs, education, and healthcare, all reflecting the government's focus on advancing various aspects of the state's welfare and progress.

Ex-Super Eagles stars making a mark in government 

MIkel Obi
Credit: Icon Sport

Nigeria's sporting legends have long been celebrated for their prowess on the field, but it's only recently that some have started making their mark in significant public offices.

Nigeria has witnessed some of its beloved football icons transitioning into government roles. Notably, Nwankwo Kanu, a revered Super Eagles star, was appointed as the supervisor of Nigeria Premier League side Enyimba by the governor of Abia State, Alex Otti.

This appointment is a testament to Kanu's leadership qualities and his ability to contribute positively to the development of football in Nigeria.

In 2020, another former Super Eagles striker and manager, Daniel Amokachi, was appointed as the special assistant on sports to the federal government. Amokachi's appointment showcased the recognition of sports stars' potential to influence positive changes and drive development initiatives in the country.

One of Nigeria's legendary forwards, Segun Odegbami, also ventured into politics by declaring his intention to become the elected governor of Ogun State during the 2019 elections.

Though his bid was ultimately unsuccessful, Odegbami's aspiration demonstrated the ambition and dedication of sports figures to contribute to the governance of their nation.

However, the highest role assumed by an ex-Super Eagle in Nigerian government is now set to be filled by former captain Austin “Jay-Jay” Okocha.

In a groundbreaking move, Okocha has been nominated as the next Minister for Youth and Sports in Nigeria, a position that holds immense responsibility for shaping the country's sports landscape and empowering its youth.

As more Nigerian sports legends venture into the political arena, it opens up new avenues for their contributions beyond the field.

Their influence in government roles can serve as a catalyst for positive change, fostering sports development, and providing opportunities for the nation's talented youth.

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. She grew up in a footballing environment, supporting both Bayern Munich and Wydad Athletic Club. She began her English journalism career by hosting a podcast for the first English radio station in Morocco. Currently, the Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBall Live readers.