FORMER Nigerian athletics star and Olympian, Fatima Yusuf Olukoju has condemned the decision of the Ministry of Sports not to pick Blessing Okagbare as Nigeria’s flag bearer to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics scheduled to start next weekend.
USA-based Fatima also berated the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and her own Olympian body for failing to do the needful as regards the non-selection of Okagbare for the big role.
Fatima, stated that Okagbare was nominated for the role and that all supporting facts presented were simply ignored.
“We all need to start asking our leaders and those who arrived at this decision questions.
“Is Blessing not deserving enough or worthy to be the Nigerian flag bearer at the Olympics after all she has achieved for Nigeria in athletics?
“Do they not know all her achievements in the field of athletics over the years? l begin to wonder what criteria was used to have ignored her for the role.”
Fatima, a former African record holder was of the opinion that the decision not to consider Blessing goes to show that government officials and sports administrators ignored those who had brought hon- ours to this country at the time of need.
“I want to state clearly that l’m not being sentimental but just stating the obvious. “Blessing should have been given the honour at this her twilight years of her career as this appears to be her last Olympics as an athlete.
“Giving her the flag bearer’s role would have brought smiles to her face, a way of saying thank you and good bye. “ls this the best way to treat your hero’s, surely, Blessing deserves a better treatment,” the Atlanta ‘96 Olympics silver medallist said.