Minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare, says the viral video of Nigeria’s shotput athlete, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi was an attempt to create a media frenzy to embarrass the country.
Upon becoming the first Nigerian to qualify for the men’s shot put final at Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Enekwechi had posted a video on TikTok wherein he was seen washing his jersey.
He had also captioned the short footage with: “When you qualify for Olympic Finals, but you have only one jersey”.
The video had sparked negative reactions from Nigerians who had already been outraged over the administrative setbacks that the country’s athletes had already suffered at the Olympics.
The minister, in a statement on Monday, said that the ministry received no complaints about the shortage of jerseys for track and field athletes until Enekwechi’s video was posted.
The statement read; “The ministry’s responsibility and that of the 38 National Sporting Federations, NSFs of kitting are well spelt out. The production of general wears for Team Nigeria is always the responsibility of the ministry of youth and sports development. Procurement for the competition wear is the responsibility of the respective federations because of the fact that each sport requires specialized outfits.
“Boxing, wrestling, athletics and each of the federations need different wears. The ministry provides budgetary support to the federations.
“The quantity of competition wears given to each athlete is the decision of the particular federation. No complaints came to my notice until the Tik Tok Video posted by one of the athletes went viral. We immediately stepped in to manage the situation. The federation involved has been directed to provide a detailed explanation about the kit.
“The Tik Tok video on the issue was an attempt to create a media frenzy to embarrass Nigeria.”