June 10, 2009

Ngerem backs Ogba to revive athletics

Former Athletics  Federation of Nigeria president, Dan Ngerem, has backed Solomon Ogba to succeed in his task to put Nigeria athletics back into the world map.

Ngerem who had a successful tenure in face of daunting challenges said the former Delta State commissioner for sports has a very good antecedent in the sport and therefore he should be able to turn things around.

But Ngerem counselled Ogba not handle his assignment with kid gloves, otherwise all his efforts will suffocate in the cobweb of officialdom.

“Ogba has the potential to save the sport. But with athletics he has to be extra vigilant.“He has to be thinking 24-7 about what he can do for athletics; he must have to know about dates at the local and international scene. There should be no delegating duties, because the secretariat staff can sometimes become a clog in the wheel of progress,” Ngerem said in an interview.

The former AFN boss pledged his support to Ogba, adding that he will make himself available if time permits to grace athletics occasions.

Ngerem was in charge of the AFN from 2001 to 2005. During his tenure there were numerous local competitions for athletes, the classics and junior competitions were run and also the Lagos half marathon, which has now become a global event.

In 2003 Ngerem personally financed the Nigerian team to the Congo African championships, where Nigeria needed to qualify for the World Championships in Paris and the Athens 2004 Olympics, where Nigeria men 4x400m featuring Saul Weigopua, Godday James and Enefiok Odo-Obong won bronze. The men 4×100 with Aaron Egbele, Olusoji Fasuba, Uchenna Emedolu and Deji Aliu won bronze, Ngerem declared that those bronze were worth gold considering the long suffering of Nigerian athletes prior to the games.