Solomon Dalung, the Minister of Youths and Sports, on Thursday charged the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to help bring back the country’s past glory in athletics.
Dalung who made the call during the AFN Annual Congress in Abuja recalled that athletics was the first to bring medals to the country before other sports such as football.
“Athletics was the most famous federation in the country because of its first medal to the country ahead of other sports, including football.
“That era later disappeared. But that can be brought back if the current board is determined to do so.
“I therefore urge the board to work together as a team in order to make the nation proud as an athletics giant in Africa and beyond,” he said.
The minister who declared the event opened for deliberation on amendments of the federation’s Constitution tasked delegates and other stakeholders to ensure it was all-inclusive and non-discriminatory.
He also unveiled the federation’s new logo and proposed hotel model during the event.
Earlier in his address, Ibrahim Gusau, the AFN President, had assured the gathering that the board would take athletics to greater heights.
Some of the invited dignitaries at the congress also advised the board on how to make better impact in the development of athletics in the country.
Amos Adamu, a former Director-General of the defunct National Sports Commission (NSC) said: “Board members should cooperate in order to develop the sport.
“The board president should be a good link between the board and the Federal Government, through the Sports Minister.
“The current board should be able to achieve a lot because it has lots of former international athletes who are expected to bring their experience to bear.
“Athletics has given the country good names in the past and some of the current board members contributed to that achievement,” he said.
Also, Patrick Ekeji, another former DG of the NSC, shared the views of Adamu, adding that bickering among the board members would not help in achieving anything positive.
Similarly, Habu Gumel, the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), said: “With the calibre of the current board members in AFN, Nigeria is hopeful of medals at the next Olympics”.