By Amaechi Agbo
The Youth and Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, Sunday thanked the Team Nigeria who represented the country at the 2019 Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco telling them ‘you made Nigeria proud’, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
The minister made the statement while welcoming the returning Team back to the country after their heroics in the just concluded 12th edition of the Africa Games held in Rabat, Morocco, Bestchoiceesports.com.ng can report.
The contingent made up of 318 athletes and officials touched down the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 6pm. Though being an unofficial day of work, the minister who has spent barely a week in office, was at the Airport to welcome the team which represented Nigeria well at the games.
Mr Dare, beaming with smile, hugged and shook hands with the athletes and their official as they arrived the arrival wing of the airport.
Journalists who covered the event were few as the initial plan of the team’s arrival time at 1pm same day was shifted till 6pm with many journalists who had gathered prior to the earlier time had to leave for other engagements.
The Honourable minister, expressing delight over the feats achieved by the team which came second on the medals table, said “Moments ago I welcomed the 318- man contingent of Team Nigeria from the All Africa Games on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari and conveyed to the athletes the congratulatory message of the President. Congratulations Team Nigeria. You made Nigeria proud.”
Team Nigeria came second on the medals table as the 12 edition of the Games’ curtain was dropped on Saturday, August 31st in Rabat, Morocco with a total of 127 medals which comprises 46 Gold, 33 Silver and 48 Bronze to place Nigeria second behind winners, Egypt
Appreciating the team more, the minister further said “you displayed commitment, ruthless competitive spirit, professionalism and unqualified patriotism to cart away 127 medals at the 12th AAG. Congratulations to you for an excellent and inspiring outing.”
Many Nigerians have called on the minister to, without delay, initiate plans for President Mohammadu Buhari to host the team for being great ambassadors of the country at the games.
Weightlifting and wrestling were the two sporting events that won most of the medals including gold won by the national Under 20 female football team, the Falconets who defeated their opponents Cameroon on Thursday to claim gold while their U-20 male counterpart won silver after losing 2-0 to Burkina Faso on Friday final.