Leadership (Abuja)

21 November 2012

Nigeria: 2016 Olympics - Gov Akpabio Adopts Weightlifting, Targets Two Gold

The National Sports Commission (NSC) appeal for support for the renaissance of the country's sports sector after the dismal performance of Team Nigeria at the London Olympics Games has received a huge boost, as Akwa Ibom State government has vowed to invest in the development of weightlifting ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The State governor, Godswill Akpabio made the promise during his investiture ceremony as the grand patron of Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF) in Abuja.

He said he is particularly worried about the dwindling of the nation's sports amidst abundant resources and called on his fellow governors to find ways of supporting sports, noting that it is the only factor that project the country's image well internationally.

He said his administration is ever ready to work with all stakeholders to rescue Nigeria sports for the benefit of the youths. "So we must find a way of supporting sports in the country. One thing that gives a country a good image is sports. For scrabble we have done well in Akwa Ibom and I can confidently tell you that in the nearest future, we will conquer the world.

"I have just been told by the DG of the National Sports Commission, Dr Patrick Ekeji that Akwa Ibom is naturally endowed in weightlifting. So, we are going to invest in weightlifting so that in the next Olympics we can win at least two gold medals. I am building an ultra-model stadium in Akwa Ibom because we need to put facilities in place to be able to achieve sports development.

"I am not going to work alone, we will work in collaboration with the DG and Nigeria Olympics Committee to put the necessary machineries that will enable us to achieve the target in place. Never again in history, Nigeria will go to Olympics and come back without a medal," he said.

Director General of the National Sports Commission, Dr Patrick Ekeji, had earlier while commending the governor for his unalloyed support to the development of scrabble in the country, urged him to extend his support to weightlifting in the state. He said Akwa Ibom is naturally endowed in weightlifting and have produced two world champions in the past.

in the person of Oroyo in weightlifting and Samuel Okon Peter in boxing."

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