The Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, on Thursday expressed the Federal Government’s disappointment at the dismal performance of Team Nigeria at the ongoing London 2012 Olympics.
Speaking at a press conference tagged “Nigeria Olympic Review” at the Nigeria House in Stratford, London, the minister admitted that poor preparations marred the country’s chances at the games. “Our inability to win any medal so far is as disappointing for my team and myself and for all Nigerians everywhere. “But we must have the courage to see it as it is. This is a clear testimony to how far our sports has fallen behind,” Abdullahi noted.
He, however, said he would not indulge in a blame game but would take the dismal performance as “an opportunity to rebuild.”
The minister, who described the situation as a “crisis,” said it was “the necessary disequilibrium required for serious actions and drastic change. We will not allow this opportunity to pass.” He stated, “Having been appointed Minister of Sports only two months to the Olympics, I have had to learn very quickly.
“And I have not received a better lesson than in the last two weeks of London 2012. “We have been hoping too much on luck, but for once, God is telling us he’s not a magician.”
He praised Team Nigeria for putting up a brave showing at the Olympics, noting, “Our athletes tried their best. We can only hope to build on what they have done.
“According to a Yoruba saying, as you pose for a camera that is how you will appear. There’s no magic.”
Meanwhile Minister of sports and Chairman National Sports Commission Bolaji Abdullahi is already looking ahead of Nigeria’s disappointing outing in the 2012 Olympic Games by planning a way forward for Nigerian sports. Speaking yesterday at the Nigerian House alongside Team Nigeria’s top shots that included DG National Sports Commission, Dr Patrick Ekeji, NOC president, Engr. Sani Ndanusa and IOC member Engr. Habu Gumel, he revealed that Nigeria was not going to win the Olympics in the first place, but had come to better past performances.
“We came with 51 sports men and women to participate in 8 sports. Even though we did not expect to win, we arrived here to show decent showing and surpass past Olympics achievement. We undertook short but intensive training and our athletes had the best training. London had the best preparation and for this reason we paid attention and commitment on athletes’ welfare.
We believed with this we should wi medals. But I am
Disappointed and this needs scientific diagnosis. It is also a clear t estimony of how sports have fallen.”
Photo by Yomi Omogbeja at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, London