19 September 2012

Nigeria: Sport Overhaul - Ositelu Tasks Jonathan On Implementation

Lagos — Deacon Ayo Ositelu, a veteran sports analyst, on Wednesday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that his directive for a complete overhaul of the sports sector in the country was implemented.

Ositelu in Lagos said that he hoped Jonathan's directive was not because of Team Nigeria's woeful performance at the just-ended London 2012 Olympics.

"I sincerely hope that our president will give sports in this country a total overhaul, I don't want to assume he promised to do that in the heat of the moment.

"President Jonathan should not merely call for an overhaul, he should ensure that his directive is implemented and strictly implemented to the letter," he added.

The analyst commended Team Nigeria at the last London Paralympics for redeeming the country's image, which he said, was battered at the just-concluded London 2012 Olympics.

"They have performed beyond our expectations; they have proved to us that there is ability in disability, I am proud of them," he said

Ositelu also commended Jonathan's Presidential reception for the Paralympians, saying it was encouraging.

The analyst, however, called on the sports Ministry to ensure adequate funding of all the sports federations for improved performance.

"All the sports federations- with no emphasis on football- should be adequately funded.

"There should be no preferential treatment to some sports at the detriment of others, so that they won't have an excuse not to deliver.

"All we need to do at this point in time is to start doing things differently. It is now obvious that we have not been meticulous with our preparation, we need to right this wrong immediately," Ositelu said.

According to him, there is the need for all sports federations to be headed by administrators with knowledge in the games, for insightful contribution from the unit head.

"The right people should be put in charge for positive results, you don't go to a mechanic when you have headache, it's not done, same applies to sports and everything in life,' he added.

"My constant criticisms of the country's sports administration has manifested, I have been vindicated with our poor performance at the London 2012 Games," he said.

The analyst also urged the National Sports Commission (NSC) not to dwell in the past, but should re-strategise for outstanding performance at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics.

He said that the NSC should start preparations for the next Olympics and other international competitions years ahead of time, to ensure optimal performance.


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