Nigeria has not been fair to me, Ese Brume laments
Brume, who won a gold medal for Team Nigeria at the recently concluded Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship, says she was being pushed to the wall by administrators of athletics in Nigeria, adding that a time would come when she will no longer ‘stomach it.’
“I am really sad at the moment,” the ever smiling Brume opened up yesterday in a chat with The Guardian.
“The Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship was an international event, and every athlete, who represented Team Nigeria was supposed to be given international treatment.
We were told that our daily allowance was $100, which should translate to $700. That was aside the $3,000 each gold medallist was supposed to get.
“It was a rude shock for some of us to receive just N107, 000 as total allowance for the duration of the game. That is rubbish. Some of us had to reject it because we considered it as an insult.”
The Guardian learnt that apart from Brume, two other members of Team Nigeria for the Asaba 2018 Championship, sprinter Divine Oduduru and hurdler Tobi Amusan equally turned down the N107,000 allowance.
It was not clear if the money came from the organisers of the championship or the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
Another major worry for Ese Brume is the attitude of Nigerian sports administrators to preparation of foreign-based athletes for major championships.
“Nobody got in touch with me throughout my preparation for the Asaba 2018 Championship.
Now that we are done with the African Championship, preparations is supposed to begin ahead of Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games, but Nigeria won’t think in that direction for now.
Nobody cares how I am coping in combining education with my athletics career in North Cyprus. Where do they think I will get money to take care of myself in North Cyprus? It is not encouraging,” Brume stated.
At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, Brume was Nigeria’s last athlete standing after all the ‘big names’ failed to live up to expectation.
In 2014, a relatively unknown Brume took the entire Commonwealth by surprise when she conquered all senior competitors in the race for the gold medal in the long jump event. That was in Glasgow, Scotland.
A few days later, she made Team Nigeria’s contingent to the African Senior Athletics Championship in Marrakech, Morocco, where she won gold.
While Brume was able to defend her African title two years ago in Durban, South Africa, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) denied her the opportunity of defending her Commonwealth Games’ title earlier this year in Gold Coast, Australia.
Her morale dropped, but she did not allow the frustration to weigh her down.
In Asaba, Brume rose to the occasion by winning a gold medal, her third in the African Championships, with a leap of 6.83 meters to equal her season’s best recorded earlier this year in Jamaica.
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