Dr Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, the FCT Minister of State has emphasized the need for a campaign to sensitise Nigerian athletes on the dangers of using performance enhancing drugs.
The Onyize of Ebiraland made this call while receiving the newly elected ExCo of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, FCT chapter in her office in Abuja.
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While citing the disqualification of some Nigerian athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, she said her dream is to ensure that athletes from the FCT campaign free of drugs during national and international competitions.
Dr Ramatu said: “You don’t need a machine sometimes when you just take a look at some athletes it will immediately strike you that some of these athletes are on substances.
“Doping waste the potentials in our sports men and women.
“So, it is important that Nigeria emphasizes on that aspect and I want to see in the FCT that anytime we have an event, we want our athletes to be as clean as required. Because this shows mannerism, culture and attitude that the athletes are well brought up.”
According to her, the sports writers have a huge role to play in this, saying it is good to emphasize on disengagement from drug.
Revamping sports facilities
She said that she is ready to work with SWAN to revamped sports facilities in the six area councils of the FCT, promising handsome rewards for athletes who distinguish themselves while competing for the FCT.
She added, “the FCT administration is ready to give the required support to our sports participants in various fields including football.
“Athletes that participated at the National festival showed their own personal commitments and we will be rewarding them, not because we say that is enough but because we appreciate them.
“We have also decided that we will revive the area Council tournament that we used to have, partnering with SWAN to ensure that we adequately promote sports in the territory.”
Speaking earlier, Bunmi Haruna, chairman of the SWAN FCT chapter, praised the minister for the sporting landmarks witnessed so far under her watch in the FCT.
This, according to him, include FOSLA Academy winning the National Principal Cup football event, Women’s Premier League action returning to the FCT through Naija Raitel FC, the successes recorded by team FCT at this year’s national sports festival, among others.
The SWAN chairman also pleaded with the minister to allow SWAN carry out a sports facility tour of the six area councils within the FCT with the hope of reporting back to her on what needs to be done for persons in the FCT to have access to modern sporting facilities.
He said, “We want to thank you for accepting to host athletes and officials that represented the FCT at the national sports festival and we know they will be handsomely rewarded.
“We want to be of help to this administration. We want to on behalf of the FCT take a tour of sporting facilities in the six area council to ascertain the level of this facilities and report back to you, so that there can be upgrades in this area.
“This is because we know the importance of having good training facilities if the FCT is to truly become the hub of sports in Nigeria,” the Cool FM OAP said.