The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has warned groups, individuals or associations against turning Nigerian sports into their personal estate through Team Nigeria’s participation in competitions.
In statement signed by the permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Developmebt Mr Gabriel Aduda, the Ministry reiterated that it would not allow anyone to exploit or mislead Nigerian Athletes for personal or selfish interest.
Aduda said: “The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development – the ministry charged by law to supervise and implement all sports development policies, hereby reiterates that the only recognised name for Nigerian athletes is Team Nigeria. Also the authority to decide who wears Nigeria’s colours rests with the ministry not any single individual.”
Aduda further decried the attempt by some Presidents to hijack federations and turn them into NGOs.
“The Code of Governance for the Nigerian Sporting Federations and extant laws guiding sporting activities are very clear. The federations are a creation of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the ministry supervises them and works with them to present our athletes in the best form for competitions. The Board of the federations is a collective and no individual can appropriate the board or the rights of the Nigerian state” the P.S. concluded.
The clarification became necessary following attempt by an individual to register another team for Nigeria at the Para-Weightlifting World Cup in Abuja.
The timely intervention of the Youth and Sports Minister Mr Sunday Dare nibbed the brewing crisis in the bud with the presentation of Team Nigeria Athletes for the event.