Following the recent appointment of Hon. Joseph Joshua as the new Taraba state commissioner of Youth and Sports by Governor of Taraba State, Dr. Agbu Kefas (Rtd) earlier in August, 2023, the Taraba State Deaf Sports Association, TSDSA, has joined other patriotic citizens of the state in congratulating the new commissioner and wishing him good in the discharge of his official functions.
During a familiarization visit to the new commissioner, the chairman of Taraba State Deaf Sports Association (TSDSA), comrade Abubakar Abdulhamid delivered a congratulatory message to the new commissioner on behalf of the entire Taraba Deaf men and women in sports.
He stated, ” Let me congratulate you once again on your recent appointment as Commissioner of this noble Ministry of Youth and Sport Development. It is of no doubt that your appointment is of utmost importance and based on merit for the fact that you are tested and trusted especially in the areas of Sports. Once again, it is to our belief that the sports activities in Taraba state under your watch will now move to a greater heights”.
He urged the commissioner to operate open door policy for all PWDs sports enthusiasts in all areas of sporting activities under his ministry.
He said, “we have no doubt that you will carry the Deaf and our disabled counterparts along in the areas of Sports with a view of making us a responsible citizens. The Taraba State Deaf Sports Association is the only body responsible for Deaf Sports activities. The Association came into existence for more than a decade ago with dedication of some Deaf elders and youth who are sports loving individuals. It is also registered with Nigerian Deaf sports Federation headquarters Abuja, (NDSF). NDSF is also member of International committees of Deaf Sports, ICDS, which is international sports body”
Abdulhamid also used the opportunity to recall some of the horrible experiences he and his people encountered in the hands of the past sports administrators in the state, urging the new commissioner to look into the terrible plights the Deaf sports enthusiasts are subjected to in the past and come to their aid.
His words, “we experienced discriminations from the past administration for lack of support and attention to our Association and its needs. We have been getting several letter of invitations right from 2015 to present inviting us to participate in National sports Festival/ Deaf Sports AGM and Football Championship, but each time we visited sports council office and commissioner of sports office with these letters, they wil get our letters and keep giving us excuses. Sometimes they wil not give us attention when we visit them”.
“With the emergence of our beloved and amiable Governor, Dr. Agbu Kefas (Rtd) as well as your appointment for been an autonomous person presiding this Ministry, we are absolutely sure that the discrimination against our members will become a thing of the past”
“I want to let you know that God in His Infinite mercy and power has blessed our Dear state (Taraba) with experienced elder statement as one of our brothers is the current Board member of Nigerian Deaf Sports Federation representing North East who is the most young among all the board members, and we have some Deaf players who are skillful and very talented, these lads are ready to make our state proud especially in the areas of football. Some of our skillful players already made their debut and became National Deaf Team players. We are indeed proud of them” the statement added.
INN reports that the TSDSA chairman, in a frantic efforts to fast tract the full integration and inclusion of TSDSA members in the ministry of Youth and Sports domain used the occasion to table down five (5) pressing demands before the Hon commissioner of Youth and Sports to consider.
These demands include the need for recognition of Taraba State Deaf Sports Association (TSDSA) as one of the Sports Association in your Ministry and State Sports Council, the creation of a special budget for the Association to enable it fully organize and actively participate in both local and National Sports events, the urgent need to provide executive order for Taraba State Deaf Sports Association (TSDSA) to be part of state’s sports festival and national levels respectively.
Others are the need for allocation of office space at the Jolly Nyame Stadium that will be our Secretariat and help us in carrying out our sports activities and the need for appointment of one of our member as Special Adviser (SA) to the Commissioner on Deaf Sports matters.
Responding to the TSDSA contingent, the commissioner Taraba State Ministry of Youth and Sports, Hon. Joseph Joshua have pledged to be proactive and to remain loyal to the course in discharging his duties as the commissioner of Youth and sports.
He equally assured the TSDSA members that Taraba State will get a new face lift in turning around the fortunes of Youth and Sports in the state without any form of discrimination whatsoever.