It was meant to impress the Minister and perhaps curry his favour, otherwise, the statement signed and released by the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick, in the wake of the woeful performance of the Nigeria contingent to the recently held Tokyo Olympics was as hypocritical as it was hogwash.
Hear him : “The Nigeria contingent may not have returned with the harvest of medals that many hoped for, but there are lights all around and some brilliant individual performances that give hope for the next Games in Paris. At the end of the day, the silver and bronze medals earned in Tokyo make the just-ended Olympics Nigeria’s best outing in 21 years. That is commendable.
“The Sports Minister, in his capacity, and the Ministry of Sports, as a body, worked their socks off. The Honourable Minister was exemplary; he explained, encouraged and empathized with the athletes as necessary and led the cheer at most of the venues where Nigerian athletes competed.
“He is such a wonderful breath of fresh air from the immediate Minister of Sports who rather constituted himself into a bulwark and divisive force against Nigerian athletes at the last Olympics in Brazil. We do not wish to recall his inglorious remarks against the football team when the team was camping in the USA. That football team eventually ended up winning Team Nigeria’s only medal – a bronze – at the Games.
“I am happy for Ese (Brume) because I played a role in her discovery and nurturing. I am satisfied with her career progression and I believe she will be there in Paris in three years to win the gold medal.
“I also pledge that our football teams will return to the Games in three years in Paris and compete favourably for the gold medals”, he stated.
Mr. Dare will be the greatest fool if he believed a word from the above. One, no record exist of Mr. Pinnick ever criticising the Minister he referenced in his statement.
This is an obvious case of unwarranted massage of the ego of the Minister (or bootlicking in local parlance) with expected benefits (pecuniary or otherwise), typical of Africans.
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