Nigerians have lauded the decision to make former Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Alhassan Yakmut Nigeria’s Chief de Mission to the 12th All Africa Games in Morocco.
National female Judoka, Franca Audu said the return of Yakmut to Nigeria Sports industry is a blessing in disguise for Sports men and women.
Audu told www.aclsports.com that all their privileges were given to them without subtraction at the 2015 All Africa Games in Congo.
The All Africa Games bronze medallist said, “When I learnt of Mallam Alhassan Yakmut appointment, joy erupt in my heart because I knew what sports men and women enjoyed during his short stay with us. Our training allowances, kits and entitlements were given to us at the right time”.
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Also speaking two times Olympian, Suleman Musa said since the return of democracy in 1999, the only time Nigeria athletes were happy when they attended any Championships was during Yakmut era as Director-General of the National Sports Commission.
Musa said, “Yakmut met with athletes every other night while in camp and made sure the things to make them perform better was provided with the assistance of the Director at the ministry, Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi. He was a former athlete (volleyball player) and knows what we are passing through. I believe his appointment will help the athletes get their packages on time from the Federal Government before the Games”.
Former Nigeria Basketball male captain, Olumide Oyedeji (OLY) said for the first time in over two decades, Nigeria athletes’ looked professional before the trip due to their uniformity at the airport, before and after the game during Yakmut era.
Oyedeji who attended 6 All Africa Games between 1995 in Harare to 2015 in Congo said Nigeria kits were delivered before the 2015 All Africa Games outing and every Nigeria athletes wore the same kit during the match past.
Oyedeji who captained Team Nigeria in 3 of his appearance (2007 in Algiers to 2015 in Congo) said Nigeria never received any kits in Nigeria and most times the kits comes one by one after the week in Africa games before Yakmut’s era.
The Olympian said he believes Yakmut can turn the fortunes of Nigeria Sports if given the opportunity adding that athletes felt warmly with him and he made himself available to the athletes with listen ears.
Oyedeji said, “Respect to Mallam Alhassan Yakmut because he brought a new touch to the sports industry when he was the Director-General of the National Sports Commission. He personally visited the ultra modern gym for badminton at the Police College as well as the Taekwondo training ground in Lagos.
Oyedeji said Yakmut brought uniformity to how our athletes were kitted, explaining that athletes welfare was great and better as bonuses were paid immediately after any medals won
“During the All Africa Games in Congo, the unexpected happened as Nigeria was kitted by PEAK; that was the first time such happened. Athletes got their allowances before they left the country and bonuses immediately they won medals. He made sure all the athletes were comfortable during the event”