Says U- 20 world athletics Championship performance is no substitute for Olympic failures:
The National Assembly’s lack of enthusiasm to undertake comprehensive oversight investigation of the circumstances that led to the most disgraceful outing of team Nigeria to the Olympic which was the fate of the nation’s delegation to the recently ended Tokyo Olympic has been described as systematic attempt by Government to continue with the regime of impunity in the sports sector generally.
Also, the impressive performance of youngsters from Nigeria to the under twenty world athletics Championship taking place in Nairobi, Kenya, must never be allowed to be used as a perfect alibi to bury the scandalous outing of team Nigeria to the Tokyo Olympic in which Nigeria had abysmal performance as almost the last in the medal table with just a silver and a bronze medal.
The Rights group in a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf has called for a forensic probe of the circumstances surrounding the pulling out by one of Nigeria’s global sporting funders just few months to the Tokyo Olympics thereby making the athletes to suffer unwarranted neglect and lack of sporting materials.
HURIWA recalled that a TikTok video of a Nigerian athlete washing his uniform on was yet another low moment in a disappointing Olympics, with a low medal count and serious drug-testing issues, for Africa’s richest and most populous nation just as HURIWA said the failure by the Federal government to investigate what happened at that international sporting championships in Tokyo Japan even when these disgraceful performances and administrative faultlines were reportedly widely in the media, shows that the government is intolerant of excellence and merit based sports unlike most Countries of the World.
The Rights group recalled that in the clip, male shot put thrower Chukwuebuka Enekwechi said he had to wear the same apparel for his semi-final and final events, because he had just one set for the Tokyo games. The Rights group said it endorses the analysis by an internal analyst that it is especially puzzling because Puma, the German sportswear giant, signed a $2.7 million contract in 2019 to produce kit for the Nigerian team, and enough for each athlete to have more than one set.
“As reported in the media, that deal has now been canceled by the company. Puma said it ended its sponsoring and licensing agreement with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria “as a direct consequence of recent developments, particularly at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020,” according to a press release by the federation on Aug. 4.”
“Puma would have supplied Nigerian athletes of all age groups with uniforms for four years. It had also pledged to offer cash rewards to Olympic athletes with podium finishes: $15,000 for Gold, $5,000 for Silver and $3,000 for Bronze.”
HURIWA recalled a reporter said none of the above contractual agreements with Puma is going to happen anymore, but Nigeria’s current sports administrators are delighted. The athletics federation said Nigeria’s sports minister had successfully stopped athletes from receiving Puma bags containing about 40 items each in Tokyo through the Nigerian embassy. To this set of administrators, the 2019 deal was not properly agreed between Puma and previous leaders of Nigeria’s athletics body. Indeed, the deal has been at the center of a power tussle between past and incumbent leadership teams.”
HURIWA is therefore advocating wide ranging investigations to uncover the circumstances and the individuals that undermined the nation’s performance at the Tokyo Olympics in which even smaller nations as tiny as one local government area in Kano state Nigeria had more than ten Gold medals but Nigeria with over 200 million people got just a silver medal and bronze from two of our lady athletes.