President Goodluck Jonathan
By Muhammad Bello
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will Saturday host the Nigeria Paralympics Team to a special reception at the Banquet Hall of the State House Villa in Abuja.
The team drew encomiums from sports enthusiasts across the nation for their impressive outing at the London 2012 Paralympics in contrast to the woeful outing of the able bodied Olympic contingent to the 2012 London Olympics.
Also to be given the special treat, are the Falconets, the country’s Under 20 football team to the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Japan.
The Paralympic team, which returned to the country on Tuesday, placed 22nd out of 164 countries which took part at the Games having won six gold, five silver and two bronze medals. They were third in Africa.
Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Labaran Maku told State House correspondent that the president in appreciation of the effort the teams made decided to give them a befitting welcome.
According to him, the entire Federal Executive Council (FEC) will be at hand to also support the president in receiving the Falconets, who he described as ‘scintillating performers’ who are number two in Africa and did well on the global pitch defeating the best in the world.
Maku said of the Paralympics team: “Their performance wiped away our tears of the lacklustre performance of the able-bodied Nigerian Olympic team.”
He commended the passion exhibited by the Paralympics team, observing that what their achievement has shown is that “no matter your physical challenge you can give your country lots of honour.”