Paris Olympic: House committee on sports drills Gumel over Nigeria’s preparations

Paris Olympic: House committee on sports drills Gumel over Nigeria’s preparations
June 07 18:43 2024 Print This Article

It was not an easy session for the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr Habu Gumel when he appeared before the members of the House committee on sports on Thursday.

The members took turns to fire questions at the NOC president over issues that bothered on Nigeria preparation for the forthcoming Olympic Games in Paris.

The members sought clarification on why some Athletes have not yet received their allowances few months after representing the country early this year at the All Africa Games in Ghana. They maintained that such situation could have an adverse effect on their performance at the Games.

The House members also sought assurances from Gumel about Nigeria chances of winning a gold medal at the Paris Olympic taking into consideration the long history of Nigeria poor performances at previous Games.

The Committee pressed hard on Gumel to publicly inform Nigerians if there is anything yet undone that could frustrate or hinder Nigeria Athletes from podium finish so that they could come in to help.

While answering the committee, Gumel maintained that the mandate of NOC does not include preparation of the Athletes but is only responsible for them during the Games proper. He stresses that all that is required of them ahead of the Games, which include securing a comfortable hotel accommodation for the Nigerians officials, ensuring that the Athletes are comfortable at the Games village and others have been adequately taken care by them.

Sequel to this, the Committee extended invitation to the Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, to appear before it and explain to the Committee and Nigerians on the level of preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

The Committee chairman, Honourable Ekene Adams, explained to news men why it is important to hear from the Minister.

“We want to surpass the records of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics which was our best so far. Inviting the Minister to come before the Committee is not witch hunting, we are only trying to do the needful. We want our athletes to represent us very well and be in a right frame of mind while competing for honours in Paris later in the year. We should not write Team Nigeria off with our never-say-die spirit. We are going to encourage them to perform well in Paris. The athletes need to be motivated and inspired.”

Regardless of whatever challenges that may arise, Gumel assured the committee that the NOC will do all it takes to make sure that Team Nigeria makes the country proud.

“I was to appear last week unfortunately like the chairman said, I was outside the country on a national assignment to go and discuss the issues of our preparations, our movement to Paris to participate in the Olympic Games. The meeting was necessary that was why I had to travel to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters to go and meet with the respective organisations. That is exactly what happened I was on a national assignment.

“I believe together, we can move our country forward through interactions such as this so that we can be able to have a very good outing in Paris for the Olympic Games and make our country proud.”

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