Nigeria’s most successful tennis player, Nduka Odizor has pulled out of the race to head the Nigeria Tennis Federation at the June 9 elections.
Odizor said he he was withdrawing due to “certain practices that does not tally with my personal principle in the system, coupled with the fact that I do not think I am well prepared for the processes.
The player represented Nigeria at the 1988 Olympic Games and made several grand slam appearances.
The 58-year-old further explained that, “I have collected the form, filled it out and met all the conditions set before realising certain practices which I do not feel very comfortable passing through to be elected into that office.”
Looking ahead, Odizor highlighted his plans for the sport, “Rather, I have redirected my efforts to build a new generation of tennis players in the country. I will use my tennis foundation to set up six tennis development centres across the nation in partnership with some existing organisations.
“All the six centres will be in place before the end of December 2018. Apart from this, I have a special tennis programme for all the states in the Niger Delta region.
“Whoever eventually wins the Presidency of the NTF will enjoy a cosy, maximum support structure from my team. Three key championships will be worked out to return to make more champions out of Nigeria. They are the Lord Rumens, Ogbe hard court and Dala Clay court. I will not jettison these visions I had laid out to achieve for the country.
“I don’t have to belong to the Federation to be able to contribute my quota to the game that brought me fame, name and all I am today. I remain ever grateful to Nigeria, tennis and it is time to resurrect the sport. That is what I have committed myself to achieve.
“To show my commitment, by next week, the first centre will become public. It is our desire to make this first centre support the campaign for breast cancer, a campaign I have devoted my time to prosecute and want to make a serious public issue in our country.
“This year alone, I will be bringing in equipment worth about ₦10million. Nigeria and Nigerians will be made to enjoy following tennis again. I will also work hard to see that the investments in our tennis grow to about ₦100m before the year end. My dream to produce greater players, male and female, than I was has started in earnest.”