President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a goodwill message to the Nigerian Olympic Contingent to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, but his statement was silent about taking any action against the minister of sports, Solomon Dalung, who has presided over what has been a logistics nightmare for the athletes.
Nigerians have been calling on Buhari to sack Dalung over his incompetent handling of the airlift of athletes to Brazil. The shoddiness led to Nigeria becoming the butt of jokes by the International media and observers yesterday as the Olympics soccer team only arrived Brazil on the eve of their group opener against Japan which they still managed to win. Buhari is however standing by his minister.
The president expressed optimism that the country’s team will put up an impressive showing at the games.
“On behalf of the government and people of our great country, I wish to express my support to our athletes who have arrived in Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games. I am particularly delighted by the outcome of the football match early this morning in which our football team defeated their Japanese counterparts.
“The sweetness of the victory comes from the fact that it came against all odds. Our team overcame several challenges to put up a sterling performance. This is a good beginning.”
President Buhari also praised the resilience, hardwork and patriotism that the athletes have put into their preparations;
“I am already aware that you have made personal sacrifices in your journey to the Olympic Games. The motivation comes from strong discipline and the love of the nation.”
“As you embark on the search for honours for the nation, I seize this opportunity to assure our Olympians that you have my support and those of all Nigerians.
“Go! Win and return with laurels, I wish you the best,” the President added.