Ministry receives committee report on festival medal padding


The sports ministry on Friday received the report of the committee set up to review complaints over medal padding by some states at the 21st National Sports Festival in Asaba, Delta State.

Hosts Team Delta emerged as the overall winners of the competition with 648 medals comprising 320 gold, 200 silver and 128 bronze medals. Team Bayelsa clinched the second position with 337 medals, 132 gold, 115 silver and 90 bronze with Team Edo finishing third with 339 medals, 78 gold, 94 silver and 167 bronze.

However, there were two more final medals table afterwards, after some state officials vehemently protested the massive gold medals that were added to some states’ haul, which they didn’t win.

The sports minister Sunday Dare, who received the report in his office in Abuja on Friday, stated that the committee was set up to among others, determine the shortfalls in the computation of the medals table, as well as establish the exact and correct result with a view to putting an end to the complaints.

Dare expressed dismay over the level of insinuations and allegations going round attacking the ministry, its staff and the integrity of the festival.
A statement signed by Mohammed Manga, Director, Press & Public Relations, sports ministry, quoted Dare as saying, “There is no system anywhere in the world that is perfect. When issues are raised, the system should be allowed to respond to it accordingly.
“No one can run the ministry for us, NSF is borne by the sports ministry, if something is wrong with it, we will fix it, we will not be blackmailed into doing it.”
Dare described the NSF as the Nigerian Olympics and called on those involved in the fraud to desist from such acts, saying the ministry woukd take all the administrative steps to ensure that the festival maintained its credibility, both at local and international levels.
“We will fix the medals table based on the report submitted and release it to the public accordingly,” he said.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, sports ministry, Ismaila Abubakar, stated that the ministry set up the committee, made up of experts who had managed the technical arm of previous festivals, to submit a comprehensive report that would assist the ministry in addressing the complaints raised at the end of the competition.
Chairman of the committee, Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Okaro (retd.), thanked the ministry and the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) for finding them worthy to serve in this capacity.