President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said his administration would not interfere in the running of sports federations in the country.
Buhari, who spoke at the opening of the 21st African Senior Athletics Championships at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta State, said the Federal Government would respect the statutes governing them.
The President, who was represented by sports minister Solomon Dalung on the occasion, stated that his administration would continue to support efforts at discovering athletes who will win laurels for the country and Africa.
He said, “The spirit of winning alone shouldn’t becloud the spirit of harmony that the competition is meant to boost among African countries. We should cherish the cordial relationship the Games are meant to promote.
“While, I welcome you to Nigeria, my administration is committed to sports development. Let me reassure you that this government will not interfere with the running of various unions. I commend Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the people of Delta State for accepting to host this edition of the championships.”
Okowa assured athletes participating in the championships of security.
Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano; President, International Association of Athletics Federations, Sebastian Coe; President of the Confederation of African Athletics, Hamad Malboum; President of the Nigeria Football Association, Amaju Pinnick; and former CAF President Issa Hayatou were on the occasion.
In their separate remarks, Coe and Malboum urged officials and athletes to obey the rules guiding the championships.