Team Nigeria athletes left Aso Rock, Nigeria’s seat of power, disappointed Tuesday night after their much publicised dinner with President, Muhammadu Buhari ended in a mere handshake.
Nigerian athletes had been quite impressive, breaking records and winning medals at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia and were looking forward to rewards commensurate with their performance at the Games from the President.
But they would be shocked beyond words when, after waiting for what seemed an interminable period, the president sent his vice, Yemi Osinbajo to represent him.
And the Vice-president, as if acting out a script, simply went through the perfunctory motion of shaking the athletes without any pronouncements about any form of benefits attached. Not even the traditional offer of some monetary incentives, as was the practice in the past was handy.
A very disappointed official who spoke to Hotsportstv.com from Abuja said the atmosphere amongst the athletes who had been quite expectant of some largesse was that of bereavement.
“To say the athletes who came for the presidential dinner left disappointed is a gross understatement. The handshake was good but you could see the athletes wanted more,” our source said.
“I tell you, what happened on Tuesday seriously dampened our morale and I can say it also discourages enterprise, as well as commitment to the Nigerian project, ” he added.