Go for Gold, Buhari charges Nigeria’s Olympic Team

Go for Gold, Buhari charges Nigeria’s Olympic Team
July 19 19:46 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday tasked members of Team Nigeria who are set to participate in the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil to do the country proud by returning home with as many medals as possible.

President Buhari also assured the team that the Federal Government would ensure that funds budgeted for the  Olympic Games are released in time to facilitate their effective participation at the Games.

He also warned athletes against doping and other acts that could dent the image of the country.

The President spoke while handing over  Team Nigeria athletes and officials participating in the Games to the Nigeria Olympic Committee  at the State House Conference Centre.

The President stressed that considering the dwindling revenue of the country and the current global economic challenges, funds provided for the Games should be utilized judiciously.

He therefore said any official who has no business at the Games should stay at home to cheer the team, stressing that if they must travel to the Olympics, they should do so at their own expense.

The President charged all athletes and team officials going to the Olympic Games to be worthy ambassadors of the country both in the field of play and outside the sporting arena, stressing that the eyes of the global community are on them.

According to him, it was better to compete fairly and lose than to win unfairly.

“You are very aware of recent doping allegations which cast aspersions not only on the individual athletes but on their home countries. Please keep Nigeria clean.

“The menace of drug use in sports is threatening the core foundation of sports and has led to embarrassing situations as well as sanctions of some great sporting nations.  I therefore urge you to keep the integrity of our nation intact by competing clean and fair at the Olympic Games.

“Please bring as many medals back home as a result of your efforts and endeavour. But remember it is more important to compete and acquit your country as a fair sporting nation than to bring a pack of medals as a result of bending the rules and denying the Games of fair competition”, Buhari told the athletes and officials.

The ceremony also witnessed the investiture of the President as Grand Patron of Nigeria Olympic Committee.

In his earlier speech, Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalong expressed gratitude to the President for his support for sports in the country.

He assured that the team would make the country proud by bringing home medals from the competition.

A total of 78 Nigerian athletes made up of 49 male and 29 female would be competing with other athletes from 206 countries globally in different games including athletics,basketball,wrestling, weight lifting,boxing, football,table tennis and long jump.