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IAAF:Sports Minister Inagurates Committee To unravel Nigeria Athletes’ Poor Performance In DOHA

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…Give  committee 7-Day Ultimatum

Joel Ajayi

In his determination to to appraise the causes and factors responsible for the abysmal performance of the Team Nigeria of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria at the just concluded 2019 World Athletics Championship held in Doha, Qatar from September 26 – October 6, 2019 the  Minister of Youth and Sports Mr Sunday Dare  on Monday  inagurated 9-man committee to unravel the misery.

 

Committee which include: Prof. Ken Anugweje  as Chairman; Dr. Umar Bindir Member; Mr. Rotimi Obajimi Member;  Alh. Ibrahim Galadima Member; Mr. Dare Esan Member;  Amb. Mary Onyali Member;  Chief Falilat Ogunkoya Member and Mrs. Maria Wophill Member/Secretary.

 

Speaking  during the inauguration inside MKO Abiola Stadium Abuja he  said the concern of the Ministry on the less than impressive performance of athletes of the Team Nigeria at the Doha.

 

According to him, the concern of the Ministry on the performance of the AFN athletes is underscored by the fact that the Team Nigeria of the AFN at the 12th Africa Games held in Morocco in August 16-31, 2019 led the Athletics Medal Table with 23 medals comprising 10 Gold, 7 Silver and 6 Bronze.

 

“Kenya occupied the 2nd Position with a total of 20 medals comprising 10

Gold, 7 Silver and 3 Bronze. However at the Doha World Athletics Championship, Kenya came 2nd in the overall medal table and 1st Position in Africa with a total of 11 medals while Nigerian achieved a distant 9th Position to Kenya with a win of only a Bronze.

 

“The countries of Ethiopia, Uganda, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Morocco and Namibia all came above Nigeria in Africa. Hence the logical question to ask is, was the performance of our athletes at the 12th AG, fluke?

 

“There were arguments and counter arguments of indiscipline and headiness. However, there can be no fire without smoke. Your Committee is therefore to unearth the smoke that billowed to the fire of indiscipline that deprived the nation of its enviable position at the 2019 World Athletics Champion.”

 

Giving the committee task,  Mr Dare said “your assignment is indeed tasking and very daunting. Nigerians and indeed the sports community are looking forward to your Committee of wise men to unravel the “facts, figures and falsehoods” of the lackluster

performance at the Doha. You are also saddled with the responsibility to unravel the events that led to the disqualification of two promising athletes of the AFN and the response to the enquiry of the Ministry on same.

 

“For all these responsibilities, your Committee has only one week within which you are expected to turn in your report. This is not unsurmountable, noting that a number of members of this Committee were there in Doha. Their experiences and firsthand information obtained will greatly assist your assignment.

 

“The main challenge to us as a Ministry and as a nation is on mitigating the unpleasant experiences of Doha in order to avoid future reoccurrences. Accordingly, your Committee has been assigned the following Terms of Reference: To evaluate the factors responsible for the less than impressive performance of Nigeria’s athletes at the recently concluded World Athletics Championship in Doha, Qatar.

 

” Also, to evaluate the remote and immediate factors responsible for the avoidable disqualification of Blessing Okagbare and Divine Oduduru. To evaluate and advise on the response of the Technical Director of the AFN, Mr. Sunday Adeleye to the query issued to him.

 

“Establish outstanding claims to Athletes and Officials from Doha 2019. Identify and report on the roles of the IAAF in the hosting of the Championship to Athletes and Officials. Make recommendations that would ensure improved performance of Nigeria’s Athletes at major Championships. and To Make any other recommendations as may be deemed fit.”

 

He,  therefore gave the committee 7 days ultimatum to finish their findings.

 

In his remarks, the  Chairman of the Committee Prof. Ken Anugweje, Promised that the committee will  discharged their duty solemy, not to be impatial  and  passionate in carry out this assignment given to them.

 

 

 

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Niger Delta Youth Council Facilitates with Nigerians on the Occasion of World Youth Day

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…reflects on the state of the nation

…calls for youth friendly policies

The Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC), a pressure group devoted to youth empowerment and development in the Niger Delta has facilitated with the federal government and Nigerian youths as the world marks International Youth Day, a day set aside to celebrate youths all over the world and reflect on the challenges they face and ways to surmount them.

In a press release made available to journalists in Abuja by the National Coordinator, Engr. Jator Abido, the group expressed optimism that this year’s World Youth Day will avail Nigerian youths and government and avenue to brainstorm and find lasting solutions bedeviling the Nigerian youth especially in the area of unemployment and perennial insecurity that has hindered economic activities in many parts of the country.

“Today is an important date sets aside to celebrate International Youth Day. The importance of this annual celebration according to the United Nation (UN) is to among other things raise voices against any injustice or discrimination and deprivation around the globe against the youth. We as a pressure group want to use this opportunity to call attention to the alarming rate of unemployment which has risen to 35% in the third quarter of 2022 as well as insecurity which has brought to a halt economic activities in most parts of the country. It is our hope that government will act fast to end insecurity and reverse the ugly trend of unemployment in the country”, the statement noted.

The lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the group noted has far reaching implications on the future of Nigerian youths and if nothing is done about it, will endanger the mental and social capacity of youth, predisposing them to social crimes and agents of destabilization in the forth coming general elections

“The implication of this unwarranted strike is that for the past six months and counting, Nigerian youths have been idling away at home and the federal government has not considered the damage such failures portend. Not just that future leaders of Nigeria are idle but an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Criminal elements within the ruling class will quickly recruit and turn them to agents of destruction and crime as the 2023 general elections draw near. This must not be allowed to happen. The federal government must act fast to reverse this ticking time bomb from exploding” the statement urged.

The CSO equally charged the federal government to come out with policies that will encourage the participation of Nigerian youths in the downstream oil sector especially by actively using local artisans in line with local content policy of the federal government insisting that Nigerian youths especially those in the Niger Delta region have what it takes to actively transform the oil sector and end the sad phenomenon of exporting crude and importing refined products which is almost crumbling the economy.

“We are once again calling on the federal government on this occasion of International Youth Day to as a matter of national importance formulate policies which will make the local content law a more practical reality. Our youths are well skilled in oil exploration and even refining. Granting licenses to local artisans and modifying their technology will end the uneconomical policy of importing refined petroleum products at exorbitant rates at the expense of the naira. Such steps will also put an end to youth restiveness in the country and stimulate economic growth”, the statement added.

On the need to inaugurate the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) Board, the CSO noted, it is long overdue and the federal government must use this occasion of the International Youth Day to respond to the yearnings of youths in the Niger Delta who are the first beneficiaries and sufferers of both good and bad policy choices in the region, arguing that, NDDC can not continue to run without a substantive Board.

“Mr. President Sir, we are calling on you to use your good office and cause the inauguration of the NDDC Board which was duly constituted but has since not being inaugurated because of the activities of saboteurs. This is not only unconstitutional but a slap on the faces of law abiding Niger Deltans who are looking forward to development massive in the region. Without a Board, corruption is rife in the Commission and the people who are supposed to be served are suffering because of the greed of a few politicians. If nothing is done to bring an end to this impunity, we’ll have no choice but to take up arms and fight for our rights”, the statement concluded.

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