*Also wants Presidency to probe late kits arrival to Rio2016
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the Atlanta saga which involved the national Under-23 team getting stranded in USA ahead of the just concluded Rio Olympics.
SWAN also wants the Federal Government to also probe the late arrival of Team Nigeria’s kits to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, stressing it was an international disgrace to the country.
The body also called on the government to find out the reason why the National Sports Commission (NSC) was scrapped two months to the Olympics and why the sports minister now wants it back.
In a communiqué issued and signed by the Communiqué Drafting Chairman, Mike Oboh, after SWAN’s September Congress in Abuja, the umbrella body for sports journalists in the country noted Nigeria’s dismal performance at the Olympic Games.
It therefore called on the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, who believed the country was adequately prepared for Rio2016 to take full responsibility for the failure of Team Nigeria.
The congress also agreed that the Presidency should probe the delayed arrival of the Olympic contingents kits to Brazil after seven officials of the sports ministry were in China for the purchase of the kits.
The congress further noted that if the Kenyan government could still prosecute some of her officials for misdeeds despite winning 13 medals comprising six gold, five silver and one bronze at Rio2016, the Presidency should get to the root of the embarrassment caused the country when the Dream Team VI were stranded Atlanta.
Team Nigeria paraded in track suits at the opening ceremonies of Rio2016 despite provisions were made for ceremonial dresses for the contingent in the funds released to the ministry by government.
While calling for return to school sport, SWAN said that Nigeria should look beyond the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in four years time from now and prepare ahead for the 2024 Olympics.
The body also demands that the government give a policy direction on the role sports should play in national development as well as demand an explanation on why the National Sports Commission was scrapped few months to the Games.
It also suggested that henceforth, adequate attention be given to those elected into the various federations rather than the present manners of using those bodies as settlement for persons who are politically correct but lack what it entails to be on such boards.
“The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) should also emulate their South African counterparts who depend on corporate sponsorship for their participation in the Olympic Games rather than become an appendage of the government.
“The National Sports Trust Fund should be a profile for sports development as it has not been fully utilised for the good of sports in the country,” concludes the communiqué.