The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) on Wednesday in Abuja set up a four-man investigative panel to mediate in the crisis rocking the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
The panel has Francis Orbih, the President of Badminton Federation of Nigeria, as chairman with Margaret Binga, the President of Taekwondo Federation of Nigeria, and Toyin Aluko, a co-opted NOC Exco member, as members and Emmanuel Nweri of the NOC Secretariat as secretary,” he said.
The Olympic Movement, or the Olympic Solidarity, is known for peaceful co-existence. So, for this simple fact, the athletics federation as a body overseeing an important sport like athletics is very special.
This goes for other federations in the country.
So, they must enjoy a peaceful environment, without any rancour, as they prepare for the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan next year.
He said the committee was mandated to submit a report on its findings within “the shortest possible time” to NOC.
(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)
Flood: 1 out of 14 passengers rescued in Sokoto mishap
One corpse was recovered out of 14 passengers in a vehicle that plunged into River Rima Bridge, along Tashar Illela on Sokoto-Kware-Illela road in SokotoState, due to flooding.
News Agency of Nigeria recalls that a commercial vehicle, carrying 14 passengers on Thursday, plunged into the river as water submerged the road including the bridge.
He said other officials were from Sokoto State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and Transport unions.
He explained that the rescue became tough due to high volume of water that flooded the whole area.
According to him, officials have to seek assistance from construction firms for heavy duty crane, local divers and canoe divers for the mission.
Ambursa said the passenger vehicle involved in the accident was spotted, but however, could not be removed because it was hooked to a deep hole and passing water was still much.
Another rescue official from the federal fire service, Muhammad Jibril, said efforts were still in progress to remove the vehicle along with human bodies.
A local diver, Muhammadu Sada, said they deployed different tactics to save the passengers’ lives, stressing that the high water level contributed to the mission’s difficulties.
Sada explained that the area had not recorded such flooding in a long while and cautioned road users to beware of crossing the bridge because of the magnitude of the flood.
A resident, Maccido Ibrahim, told NAN that the public voluntarily contributed money for local divers.
“We raised N8,000 from the contributions and a philanthropist, Alh. Ahmadu Maidoya, and others contributed about N80,000 for canoe and local divers,” he said.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of Sokoto State Ministry of Environment, Malam Abubakar Gani, said the Commissioner, Alh. Sagir Bafarawa, was not in town.
Gani said the ministry and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) were aware of the situation, however, could not speak on their contribution to save peoples’ lives, being the responsibility of the ministry.
The PRO assured to update the media on the situation, noting that the ministry had earlier alerted residents on the possibility of the flood and advised people to use alternative routes.
A Public Analyst, Prof. Bello Bada, said the incident portrayed poor training and lack of techniques on disaster management and rescue operations by Nigerian officials.
Bada, from Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto, said the situations could attract public demonstrations as obtained in other countries where they value human lives.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/ Maharazu Ahmed
Road crash: 6 dead, 7 injured in Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State
The Federal Road Safety Corps(FRSC), Ondo State Command, has said no fewer than 6 people died and 7 were injured in a road accident on the Akure-Ilesha expressway at Ilara-Mokin, in the state on Wednesday.
This was announced in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria by the Command’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mrs Omotola Ogunbawo, in Akure.
Ogunbawo, who explained that the accident occurred on Wednesday evening, said it involved three vehicles at Ilara-Mokin in the Ifedore Local Government Area of the state.
The PRO attributed the causes of the accident to loss of control and wrong overtaking on the part of the drivers.
“Some 18 persons were involved in the crashes, including nine adult males, five adult females and four female children, while 5 adult males and one female child died at a spot and 7 people were injured, including two female adults, three male adults and one female child.
“The victims were taken to the general hospital, Igbara-Oke in Ifedore Local Government area, while corpses were deposited at the hospital’s morgue and the vehicles handed over to Igbara-Oke police station,” Ogunbawo said.
Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
NBBF, Total E&P sign N150m 5-year sponsorship deal
The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and Total E&P Nigeria Ltd on Tuesday in Lagos signed a N150 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the sponsorship of Division 1 and 2 men’s basketball leagues for five years.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, some Presidents of other federations, the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) Secretary-General, Olabanji Oladapo, were among those that witnessed the signing.
Sangster said the company decided to sponsor the basketball game in Nigeria due to its growth after their first two year sponsorship where the teams proved so impressive.
He said the company was sponsoring the game for N5 million per year for five years, noting that they decided to sponsor the grassroots level with a view to identifying and nurturing more young stars to higher levels.
He assured that his company would sponsor more games in Nigeria and Africa, adding that currently, they were sponsoring different sports, including Total Championship for Charity.
The minister described the sponsorship as worthy investment for Nigerian youths, saying the MoU was a fulfillment and transformation of basketball in Nigeria.
Dare commended Total E&P Nigeria for the sponsorship of basketball and some other games, stressing that the MoU was a reflection of their commitment to the development of Nigerian youths through sports.
He also commended the board of NBBF led by Kida for their achievements so far at both national and international levels between 2017 and 2020.
“I urge the board of the federation to continue in this direction in order to bring more laurels to Nigeria, as exemplified by the fact that for the first time in the history of Basketball, Nigeria has qualified both the men’s and women’s national teams for the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021,” he said.
The minister said the government was ever determined to provide a conducive atmosphere to stimulate corporate involvement in sports development.
He expressed the hope that other corporate organisations and philanthropists would emulate the kind gesture of Total E&P Nigeria Ltd and tap into the opportunities available in the development of the sports sector.
The president of NBBF said he was excited about the long term partnership with Total E&P Nigeria for the new MoU, adding that they were targeted at the grassroots which was one of the core focus of the federation.
According to Kida , this is another fulfillment of some of the promises we made about creating platforms for raw talents to be nurtured, while making basketball attractive to the corporate community to want to partner with us.
He noted that after critical evaluation of the initial two-year deal between the NBBF and Total, both parties felt it was expedient to continue with the harmonious relationship.
“With the initial two -year support of Total E&P Nigeria Ltd, we were able to introduce the Division 2 League system and also expand the Division 1 with more teams participating and playing more games.
“It is on record that more than 150 local basketball teams participate in these two divisions all over the country, with two teams per state qualifying for the zonal meets.
“With another five-year agreement on the table, we should be able to build on what we have achieved and establish a system where more talents can participate in organised basketball,” Kida said.
He assured lovers of the game that the board of NBBF would redouble its efforts in putting proper and sustainable structures that would take basketball to the next level.
Edited By: Peter Ejiofor)
IOC rules out banning Iran from Olympic Games
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not attempt to ban Iran from the Olympic Movement in spite of international dismay at the execution of wrestler Navid Afkari.
In a statement on Tuesday, the IOC said excluding Iran would “punish athletes” because of the political system they happen to live under.
This applies even more so in this case because the Iranian National Olympic Committee, it says, supported the IOC’s efforts to have Afkari spared.
“The difficulty for us is (that) this execution didn’t relate to a sports event,” the veteran IOC vice president John Coates said.
“And the other difficulty is of course that there is probably 50 of the national Olympic committees (NOCs) that come from territories that still have capital punishment.”
The 70-year-old Coates is also head of the Australian Olympic Committee along with holding his IOC position.
Iran has long been problematic for the IOC, he explained.
“We’ve had difficulties with the Iranians before in their not participating or pulling out of competition,” Coates said.
“They didn’t participate against Israel and we’ve suspended them in respect of those sports violations before.”
“But this is a different situation. This is someone who has been charged with murder.
“There are different versions of what happened and different versions of whether he got a fair trial.”
Coates says IOC president Thomas Bach had pleaded Afkari’s case with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.
The 27-year-old Afkari was executed on Saturday at Adel-Abad prison in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz.
According to Iranian legal authorities, Afkari had killed a security officer during a demonstration there in 2018.
Iran said he had confessed, but the athlete, his family and human rights organisations said the confession was obtained through torture.
The European Union (EU) and the United States have been among those to voice anger at the execution, but Iran has rejected the criticism.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)