Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: President Jonathan to Host Paralympians, Falconets

President Goodluck Jonathan is to host the Nigerian delegation to the paralympic games as well as members of the Falconet in appreciation of their sterling performance.

The Nigerian paralympians Tuesday night rejected the National Institute for Sports hostel accommodation reserved for them after they touched down in Lagos from their triumphant run at the London 2012 Paralympics Games.

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, told state House correspondents that the superlative performance of members of the Team Nigeria Special athletes at the just concluded Paralympic Games in London "have wiped away our tears".

According to him, the Paraolympians and the Falconets performance at the just concluded FIFA Women U-20 Championship in Japan was brilliant, and the planned reception this saturday is to send a clear message that all athletes are important.

"They (Paraolympians) have wiped away our tears. The message they have sent is that we need a greater passion in what we do. Their performance confirms that every citizen is important. The reception will send a clear message that all is important", he noted.

On the Falconets, the Minister described the performance of the female junior team that came third as "ventilating", adding that "they showed a lot of talents and defeated very great football nations.

"They have demonstrated that when women are asking for 35 per cent they mean it. It is a clear indication what women can do better where men have failed".

At the London Games, the Nigerian special athletes won a total of 13 medals; six gold, five silver and two bronze medals. The performance lifted the dampen spirit of Nigerians when the able bodied athletes could not win a single medal at the main London Games London.

Hisses, Sighs as Paralympians reject NSC's accommodation

However Nigerian paralympians Tuesday night rejected the National Institute for Sports hostel accommodation reserved for them after they touched down in Lagos from their triumphant run at the London 2012 Paralympics Games.

Some of the athletes spoken to submitted that the NIS hostel did not match their status as paralympics heroes.

The athletes were treated to a mini reception at the National Stadium Lagos. And they were shepherded into the NIS hostels by the National Sports Commission Liaison officer in Lagos, Mrs. Tayo Oreweme, but one by one they sneaked out of the premises preferring to lodge in comfortable hotels on their own, while those who have homes in Lagos went to their abodes.

"We felt that they will be secured at the NIS after a reception was held for them at the National Stadium. I'm aware that some of them went home, but I cannot say if they protested against what was offered to them," said Secretary-general of the Nigeria Paralympics Committee, Dr. Frank Thorpe.

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