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Yakmut boosts cash-strapped Nigerian athletes in Mauritius




Acting Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Alhassan Yakmut, has boosted the morale of Team Nigeria athletes currently campaigning in the 2015 African Youths Athletics Championship in Mauritius.

Yakmut, a former director of Grassroots Sports Development in the NSC, was said to have taken overfrom Gbenga Elegbeleye, who was removed from office on Wednesday following an alleged power tussle between him and Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo.

Team Nigeria’s participation in this year’s championship in Mauritius had been threatened by serious financial challenge, but the defending champions arrived Mauritius at about 2.00pm yesterday. That was after the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Solomon Ogba, had used his personal contact in Nairobi, Kenya, to arrange flight tickets for 12 athletes and three officials for the trip.

The Guardian learnt yesterday that Nigeria missed only the decathlon event due to late arrival in Mauritius, but AFN was still optimistic of doing well in the championship.

Ogba spoke with The Guardian yesterday from his base in the United States, saying the athletes had settled down for business in Mauritius, but revealed that it was ‘very hectic’ for the AFN to arrange the trip.

He disclosed that Yakmut had already initiated moves to make fund available to the athletes and their officials to enable them do well in Mauritius.

“I just spoke with our secretary in Abuja and he said that Yakmut has promised to make funds available to the team as soon as possible, which is commendable,” Ogba said.

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