- As promised by President Muhammadu Buhari, the 21st African Senior Athletics Championships going on in Asaba, Delta state capital, will be hitchfree
- The president assured athletes that his government will not meddle with the activities of sports federations throughout the competitions and beyond
- He further said that the games are supposed to groom a cordial bond between Nigeria and other countries in the African continent
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, August 1, said his administration would not interfere in the running of sports federations in Nigeria.
Speaking at the opening of the 21st African Senior Athletics Championships at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta State, the president said that the federal government will respect the statutes governing them, Punch reports.
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The president, represented by Solomon Dalung, the sports minister, said that his government would continue to support efforts at discovering athletes who will win medals for Nigeria and Africa generally.
He said: “The spirit of winning alone shouldn’t becloud the spirit of harmony that the competition is meant to boost among African countries. We should cherish the cordial relationship the Games are meant to promote.
“While, I welcome you to Nigeria, my administration is committed to sports development. Let me reassure you that this government will not interfere with the running of various unions. I commend Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the people of Delta State for accepting to host this edition of the championships.”
Governor Okowa in his speech assured athletes participating in the championships of reliable security.
Those who attended the occasion included Anambra state governor, Willie Obiano; president of the international association of athletics federations, Sebastian Coe; the president of the confederation of African athletics, Hamad Malboum; president of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Amaju Pinnick and former CAF president Issa Hayatou.
Earlier, Coe and Malboum urged officials and athletes to adhere to the rules governing the affairs of the championships.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that not less than 300 athletes from Kenya and 19 other African countries were stranded at Lagos Airport due to unavailability of connecting flights to Asaba for the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships.
The athletics events were billed to commence on Wednesday, August 1, at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta state. According to the organisers of the events, over 1500 from 52 African countries are expected to take part in the five day competition scheduled to end on Sunday, August 5.
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