Former athletes and those that are still competing under the aegis of Sports People for Goodluck Jonathan converged at the National Stadium, Lagos Tuesday to give their support to President Goodluck Jonathan in his bid to return to Aso Rock in May.
Former African Queen of the track, Mary Onyali charged her colleagues to take part in the electoral process instead of putting their fates in the hands of other people.
Also present at the event were national boxing coach, Obisia Nwankpa, ex Eagles player, Mutiu Adepoju, former boxer, Jerry Okorodudu, former Falcons goalkeeper, Ann Agumanu, Henry Nwosu and Yusuf Ali.
According to Mary Onyali, President Jonathan has supported sports since coming to power. She said that the Nigeria Olympian Association (NOA) was using the opportunity to call on athletes to support the President in his bid to return to office.
“Since he became president he has revived the dwindling fortunes of sports and athletes can now look forward to a better future. We were at the Youth Olympics and the Commonwealth Games in India, where we did well and it could not have been possible without his support.”
She called on the athletes to support President Jonathan so that they would continue to get the needed support to further their career.
Former hurdler, Henry Amike, who is the chairman mobilization committee of the group, said that the development is novel in the history of sports and national politics.
“We have observed that often in the fray of our national politics, the sports community is usually passive in spite of our huge number considering the individual and group contributions to the unity of the nation. Therefore, this is an attempt to identify with the polity of the nation for good governance. We cannot just sit back all the time. Significantly, as is obvious, we as a group have unequivocally taken our stand behind President Goodluck Jonathan.
He added: “Under President Jonathan, the crises that bedeviled the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) for instance was amicably resolved and the Federal Executive Council approved and gave support to the re-organization of the Nigeria Olympians Association (NOA), for which he has accepted to be Grand Patron.
Amike said the ongoing transformation in the National Sports Commission (NSC), has begun to yield fruits, culminating in the brilliant performance of Team Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games.