By Olawale Alabi
Organisers of the 12th African Games on Sunday, officially welcomed Team Nigeria to “Rabat 2019”, with a flag-raising ceremony at the Games Village located at the International University of Rabat.
At the ceremony, the General Manager of the African Games Village, Youssef Ouenzar, said the organisers were happy to receive Team Nigeria’s athletes and their officials.
“We are glad to receive you today with this ceremony, and we are ready to do everything possible to make your stay here exciting,” he said.
The general manager, also referred to as the Village’s Mayor, said he and his team had put their respective experiences into use to ensure that good facilities were in place.
“You will have good facilities at your disposal, and we are sure you will enjoy them, for an exciting period during the Games,” he said.
Ouenzar added that the government of Morocco utilised all available expertise to ensure all facilities and a conducive environment were provided.
“This is to ensure you concentrate and have an enjoyable participation. We hope you will feel at home,” he said.
In his remarks, Habu Gumel, the President of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), assured the games’ local organisers that Team Nigeria would be good ambassadors.
He said Team Nigeria were in Morocco to participate and win fairly, saying the Nigerian government was also appreciative of the local organisers’ efforts to ensure standard facilities were provided.
“On behalf of the Nigerian government, I assure that our athletes and officials will be good ambassadors.
“They have been well trained, and they know what to do. We are here to participate and win, with the first position our target,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gumel later presented a bag of souvenirs as gifts to both organisers and the Village managers, saying “they are gifts of unity from the government and people of Nigeria”.
The Nigerian flag was later hoisted with the rendition of the Nigerian anthem by Team Nigeria athletes and officials.
NAN reports that a handful of Nigerian athletes and officials had initially arrived at the Games Village last week.
A larger batch of more than 250 were however admitted into the village on Friday.
The rest of Team Nigeria athletes and officials to the Games were expected to arrive from Abuja next week.