I’m Being Victimized
Former Nigeria 400m champion, Uchenna Emedolu has refuted allegations leveled against him by the National Sports Commission (NSC) on his dropping of baton on two occasions when he was on duty for Nigeria, which led to the ban by the NSC’s Director General Dr. Patrick Ekeji,
In an exclusive chat with okanaijaathletics.blog, the Olympic bronze medalist who is heart broken with the treatment being meted on him by the NSC maintained that promises made to him by former president Olusegun Obasanjo in 2002 when he won the World Cup are yet to be fulfilled.
The Anambra born athlete however revealed that his ordeal started when he confronted
Dr. Patrick Ekeji during the U-23 ECOWAS Games that ended recently in Abuja and asked for his 3000 dollars being the 2008 Beijing Olympics allowance.
“It is not true I drop the relay baton in Beijing. How can I have paid my way to the games only to sabotage the team? Some of the team members of the quartet are the guys that I trained what example would I be setting for them by dropping the baton?” He asked.
According to Emedolu, asking for his 3000 dollars, allowance own him from Beijing 2008 Olympics was the reason for him being victimized by Dr. Patrick Ekeji.
“I’m heart broken with the kind of treatment being meted out to me. I have won several medals for Nigeria, and even as we are talking, the former president Olusegun Obasanjo made some promises to me in 2002 when I won the world cup in athletics, till now those promises are yet to be fulfilled.”
“It was because I asked the Director General for the 3000 dollars allowanced owed me from Beijing 2008 Olympics, that I am being victimized.
“I told him (Ekeji) to facilitate the payment during the ECOAWAS Games that Nigeria hosted recently in Abuja. He told me that I was having some issues with a panel of inquiry, concerning my role in the drop of the relay baton in Beijing 2008. I was so upset; I did not attend the awards ceremony at the ECOWAS Games. That was when he ordered that I should be banned from the national team; he withheld a 60,000 bonus given to all the coaches.”
“On my way to Abuja for the ECOWAS Games, my car somersaulted and I almost lost my life, only for me to get this kind of treatment.”
Emedolu says he has spent his personal cash training athletes like Obinna Metu,
Onyabor, Nworgu, Joy Eze and even recently worked with Ogho-Oghene Egwero who ran a personal best of 10.10 during the ECOWAS Games in Abuja and that banning him will make upcoming athletes who are working with him to suffer as it will affect their performance.
“I have spent my money training athletes like Obinna Metu, Onyabor, Nworgu and Joy Eze and even recently I worked with Ogho-Oghene Egwero, thankfully he did his personal best at the ECOWAS Games.
“For now I want to lie low and observe the situation. But if I do leave coaching Nigeria will suffer for it, this is because I have it in my mind to produce quality athletes,” he concluded.
It would be recalled that Uchenna Emedolu was banned from representing Nigeria by the National Sports Commission (NSC) for allegedly sabotaging the country’s efforts at international meets despite the sprinter having retired from the track before now.
The sprinter’s ban came, sequel to statements made by the Director General of the NSC, Patrick Ekeji during the ECOWAS Games held in Abuja recently.
He was ban after a panel indicted him of sabotage of dropping baton during exchange at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Emedolu is one of Nigeria’s fastest men of all time with a 9.97 seconds posted on home soil at the 2003 All African Games held in Abuja which ranked him sixth on the country’s fastest times list behind Olusoji Fasuba, Davidson Ezenwa, Olapade Adeniken, Francis Obikwelu and Deji Aliu.
He was a member of Nigeria’s 4x100 metres bronze winning relay team at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. But in 2008 alongside Onyeabor Ngwogu, Obinna Metu and Chinedu Oriala failed to finish their 4x100 metres relay race due to a baton dropping.