Nigeria is a country that every other country wants to reckon with in the world of Sports. Many atimes, she has been commended for being the most entertaining team during championships.
The absence of Nigeria in any eventful championship, especially in global participation makes it glaring that a significant country is not in the circle of equals. Other countries no doubt, look forward to associating with Nigerian athletes more so, as our Green White Green regalia attracts the world to our athelets during relay events and football domination.
The sports administration has maintained her assurances that God willing, our athletes will participate in the forth coming AFCON Football match including Track and Feild events in 2024. The Paralympics Games are indeed parallel to the Olympics Games and illustrates how the two movement exist side -by – side. Like the Olympic Games, it really has no age limit but because its an elite games, the ages of 18 to 30 years participate during the championships.
The Paralympics atheletes have been notable for making it possible for our national anthem to be recognised during global tournaments. WADA’s letters which stated that Nigerian flag will not be hoisted and the National Anthem not be allowed to be sang at the 2024 Olympic games and other international competition if the country fails to comply with their regulation on or before 8th December 2023, is only a conscious reminder that Nigeria should intensify effort to be present and hoist her flag during the championships. Of course there will be mix feelings if the country does not participate in any of the significant entertaining events.
However, the Minister of Sports, is ensuring that both the presidency and Ministry of Justics supports to make the country adhere to the rules and regulations of WADA as stipulated. In as much as National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) wish to be separated from the Ministry and yet be statutory funded by the Federal Government as an autonomous agency, it has to note that their proposal is still government driven with better security to avoid influence.
Sen. Enoh the Minister has taken urgent steps to make the country compliant to WADA rules and regulations and at the same time, make athletes to be better placed as required. Just as WADA means well for countries, the Minister of Sports also, wish the best for the athletes that represents the nation.
The Paralympics athletes if not for anything, will surly raise the country’s flag during the championship with their domineering strength in both the powerlifting and weightlifting. Thus, the reason the Nigerian Atheletics Federation is at top gear to ensure her athletes do same by undergoing all the qualifying stages required to enable them qualify for next year’s events.
Nigerian athletes are Super Stars in track and feild events especially in relays which make them very outstanding. All the World athletes, are conscious of their qualification and hope to be part of the first 14 final relay teams that will succeed in May 2024 in Bahamas in Oklouhoma before the Olympics and Paralympics Games. Part of the events that most athletes are struggling to qualify include lndividual races and the Golden Leagues.
Nigeria Athletics Federation looks forward to our athletes qualifying in the final relay events which comprises 4X1 male and female 4X4 male and female and 4X4 mixed relay, 2 males, 2 females. Qualification in these areas, will sure avail our athelets the opportunity of being in the podium performance.
Meanwhile, the Athletics Integrity Unit in charge of the World Athletics have been commending our AFN on her Anti – Doping Educational Seminars being conducted by them in this 2023. This has also, made their performances on enlightenment remarkable. Their education on anti – doping is believed to have enhanced a better understanding of the rules and regulations of WADA and this area of education not withstanding, has changed the mentality of athelets in the sports development, more so, as the country will soon be completely WADA compliant and free from all implicating substances.
The seminar sensitisation of Anti-Doping has further, availed the AFN the opportunity to reduce doping cases in the eight categories of WADA to the barest minimum.
Similarly to NFF who are also, desirous of being autonomous, but because they have entry in Government’s budget, the same government are interested in their affairs as it affects the citizens interest and emotions. Interestingly, both the Sports Minister and the leadership of NFF are not relenting to do the necessary needful in ensuring that Nigeria wins the AFCON match after ten years of her last victory.
Sen. John Ewan Enoh intends to free Nigerian athelets from implicating negative assertions that will be detrimental to his administration; that represents the Federal Government and athletes. He knows that both Olympics and Paralympics feature World Stars thus, his worrisome efforts for his own Stars in the sports sector to be classified among the greatest in any area they deserve to participate.
The NFF President Ibrahim Musa Gusau with humility incollaboration with the sports minister, seek to bring back the citizens interest in football to her days of glory. Their signature tune speak success that will re-attract Nigerian interest to football especially in the forth coming AFCON Football match slated to be hosted by Ivory Coast in January 2024 and the inclusion of our Referees in global tournaments. Like wise the
Director of Anti-Doping Department Ms Fadeke Fadeyibi who is resilience in her pursuit with the Hon. Minister to prove the country’s seriousness in compliance of laws of WADA.
Nwokorie is a press officer with the Ministry of Sports development.