Youth Olympics: Team Nigeria shuns opening ceremony, departs China Sunday

Nigeria’s contingent to the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, shunned the opening ceremony on Saturday and is due to depart China on Sunday, a top official has said .

Ayo Otepola, Nigeria’s Consul General in Shanghai, confirmed this in an e-mail to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja.

Team Nigeria withdrew from the Olympics after its athletes were isolated and barred from training due to concerns over the Ebola disease.

Mr. Otepola, who was in Nanjing to coordinate “Nigeria’s orderly withdrawal”, described the host country’s approach to the Ebola epidemic as “unusual” and “demoralising”.

He insisted that China’s approach to the Ebola virus was different from that adopted at the just- concluded Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

“The athletes complained of total stigmatisation, they were quarantined and this action demoralised them.

“One of them said the treatment was like that of someone carrying the Ebola virus and that they were treated everywhere with suspicion.

“They were also required to submit themselves twice every day for medical examination.

“This is unusual because they were examined initially at the port of entry and on arrival at the games village”, Mr. Otepola said in the email.

He recalled the approach adopted at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland. “The hosts gathered experts to determine participation of Ebola-infected countries and the risk of infection.

“The experts determined that the risk of a visitor coming from Sierra Leone with Ebola remained very low.

“Also the risk of exportation of the virus to a non-endemic country has been historically very rare.

“It is based on this informed decision that countries like Sierra Leone participated at the games without any excessive measures that smirks of discrimination.’’

Mr. Otepola said in the case of China, members of Team Nigeria were tested and none was positive of fever or Ebola.

“They were tested and monitored on arrival at the airport and at the hotel, yet athletes complained that they were overtly and clearly discriminated against at the games village.

“They were separated from other contingents during daily practice. The Consul General could not even find a hotel space to hold a meeting with the Nigerian contingent,” he added.

Mr. Otepola commended the decision of the Nigeria Government to withdraw from the games in order to maintain the dignity and pride of the country.

He also praised the athletes for their spirit of commitment to the country.

Nigeria went to the games with 11 athletes and seven officials led by Abdulkadir Mu’azu, Director, Sports Medicine Department of the National Sports Commission.

The games, which commenced with the opening ceremony on Saturday, will end on Aug 28.

(NAN)


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  • Ahmad Maikano.

    OMG! … did you just talked of “issues, values, and principles? what a balderdash. If you neither approved GEJ nor GMB,why not chose other candidates. Looking through what you wrote, do you consider yourself better than the “campaign handlers” you disparage?. “sell-out”, go chop ur share!

    • Original_Raskal

      this your kind of mentality of “go chop your share” is exactly what the article is about. She call it bullying! It is meant to hide the truth and a campaign strategy of APC. You should be ashamed of yourself that you are uneducated in a 21st century world.

  • Ajuwa

    The atmosphere would have been less charged if the Nigerian people have faith in the fairness of the electoral process. With that it becomes easier to campaign for your candidate with more candor and integrity.

    BTW Ruben Abati and FFK are NOT independent intervenors, they are in the trenches on one side

  • New Nigerian

    Actually it is what it is. Buhari is qualify to rescue Nigeria and Nigerian commonwealth from the clutches of Jonathan who have converted our common wealth to his personal property. And Nigerians would vote massively for that and make it count.

    Some humbling facts – that makes the famed train robbery of the century look like christmas present –

    Back of the envelope calculations puts it at about $200billion that have been stolen, shared or misappropriated in the past 4 years – through grand theft of oil, unmerited sale of oil, unauthorized subsidy payments, depletion of natural reserve, un-collected revenues through loopholes.

    One Aspect. President Jonathan have personally supervised the grand theft, through two contracts financed with tax payers money, since January 2012 (possibly fall of 2011) of 400,000 barrels of oil per day by those he hand-picked to safeguard the supply lines against theft. According to Soludo: “First, you (Finance Minister, Okonjo-Iweala) admit that ‘oil theft’ has reduced oil output from the average 2.3 – 2.4 million barrels per day to 1.95 mpd (meaning that at least 350,000 to 450,000 barrels per day are being ‘stolen’). On the average of 400,000 per day and the oil prices over the past four years, it comes to about $60bn ‘stolen’ in just four years.

    – This is done through two 2 contracts that Jonathan signed to rebel leaders from his tribe.

    These are the 2 contracts by the Jonathan administration that is a major feed to the monster bedevilling Nigeria and turning it into a failed state, and a personal estate of King Jonathan, it was fall 2011 & 2012 time frame – widely reported by Wall Street Journal and major newspapers in Nigeria – just google it – I like the composition in the piece titled, Help, This Nigerian State Is Failing By Ayobami Oyalowo:

    ”In August, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) broke some disturbing news about Nigeria. It was reported that some ex-militants in the Niger Delta had been paid about N6.32billion within the past one year by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Yes, for the ‘noble’ service of providing security against vandals for the Corporation’s oil pipeline network. Imagine! The breakdown, as outlined by WSJ, is this:

    Chief Government Ekpumopolo (alias Tompolo), Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, ‘General’ Ebikabowei Victor Ben (Boyloaf) and ‘General’ Ateke Tom were respectively paid N5.1 billion, N1.44 billion, N608 million and N608 million yearly by the state-owned NNPC, as ‘protection money’ to guard the pipelines they once attacked.

    As if that was not enough an insult on the collective intelligence of Nigerians, earlier in the year the Federal Government awarded a contract worth $103.4million (over N15billion) to the Global West Vessel Specialist Limited (GWVSL) – a firm widely believed to be owned by Tompolo to supply 20 vessels for the use of the nation’s military authorities to secure the waterways. Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Ziadeke Akpobolokemi, had last year sent a memo titled, “Award of Contract for the Strategic Concessioning Partnership with NIMASA to Provide Platforms for Tracking Ships and Cargoes, Enforce Regulatory Compliance and Surveillance Of The Entire Nigerian Maritime Domain,” to President Goodluck Jonathan.

    In considering the memo, President Goodluck Jonathan and Akpobolokemi chose GWVSL as the preferred company for the 10-year concession agreement, renewable for two terms of five years each. Jonathan, in a memo dated 9th November, 2011, with reference number PRES/99/MT/61, approved Akpobolokemi’s memo, which the Federal Executive Council rubber-stamped on 5th January, 2012. According to Akpobolokemi, GWVSL “will provide platforms for effective policing of Nigeria’s maritime domain and ensure compliance with international maritime conventions on vessels and ships voyaging the country’s waters”. NIMASA maintains that the concessionaire would help the Federal Government to enforce the sabotage law and collect levies on its behalf. This, in a country that still maintains a statutory Naval force, and without a track record for GWVSL?

    From the above, the current occupant of the presidential villa showed where his loyalty lies…rather than train the military, he equipped criminals and vandals who had taken up arms against the state. No wonder so much arms and ammunition have found their way into Nigeria and our country has now become one gigantic human abattoir where someone is killed on an average of an hour, daily. Between January to May 2014 it has been estimated that over 1,500 people have been mindlessly cut down by terrorists and blood thirsty killers.