England-based rugby star Maro Itoje has expressed his desire to support the growth of rugby in Nigeria.
The England international also pledged a commitment to better the lives of the underprivileged in Africa and Nigeria, in particular.
Despite the low patronage of rugby, Itoje said: “Judging by the amount of Nigerians in the diaspora who play rugby, it goes to show how we are naturally built for the game. We have the natural talent and ability for the game, so back home there is a lot of potential and possibilities abound. So I will be happy to lend a helping hand to see the game grow in Nigeria.”
Itoje who was recently hosted by Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) in Lagos has been described as a good ambassador of Nigeria.
According to the Chairman/CEO of NIDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Itoje has shown that he is a good representative of Nigeria in England while she was particularly thrilled by the art exhibition which Itoje had in London.
“With the History Untold exhibition, he tried to tell Nigerians and Africans generally about their history and for the younger ones to know their roots,” she said, adding NIDCOM would team up with Itoje in his future programmes.
“For us at the Commission, we would like to work with you, in every sense of the word. We have programmes like the Door of Return, which takes place in Badagry every year, the Diaspora Day among other numerous programmes.”
Itoje however, said he had never lost touch with Nigeria as he had been to the country on numerous occasions. “My last visit to Nigeria was in 2018 and I am championing the African cause in England with my art. I organised an art exhibition tagged ‘History Untold’ recently and it was a huge success.”