By Olanrewaju Akojede
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged Nigeria contingent to the 12th Africa Games scheduled to hold in Rabat, Morocco to stay clear from performance enhancing drugs.
Buhari’s admonition came during the ceremony of handling over the athletes to the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, urgied them to win only clean medals for the country.
He noted the country would be proud of them even when they failed to win any medal than win medals that would be stripped off because of drug use.
The NOC scribe in a statement in Lagos said that Buhari promised to adequately take care of the athlete’s welfare, and also charged them to strive towards gunning for the top of the medals table.
“Let me assure you that the Federal Government is fully committed to our delegation’s successful participation in the African Games and will ensure that the welfare of the team is adequately taken care of.
“I want to charge all athletes and team officials going to the Games to be worthy ambassadors of our great country, both on the field of play and outside the sport arena.
“I therefore, urge you to keep the integrity of our nation intact by competing clean and fair, devoid of any form of doping at the African Games,” he said.
In the same vein, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Adesola Oludare, expressed absolute confidence in the ability of the athletes to represent the country well at the Games.
He noted that the selected Athletes had gone through very thorough training programme to get to this level.
In his reaction, President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Habu Gumel, said it was the first time the Africa Games would be used as a qualifiers for the Olympics.
He said that it was an opportunity for the athletes to give their best so as not only to win medals but also qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
He also assured the President Buhari that the athletes would be adequately taken care of while in Rabat.
Meanwhile, a total of 562 athletes and officials will represent Nigeria at the Games, the statement said.