*Clamour for new initiative
Five African champions, stretching back a decade to Algiers 2007 and a Commonwealth Gold medallist, have endorsed Mrs Margaret Binga for President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation.
The champions are Uzoamaka Otuadinma (current 2015 African Champion, who just won a Silver at the 2017 Korea Open), 2011 African Champions – Uche Chukwumerije and Jamilu Mohammed (who is also a Commonwealth Gold Medallist), and 2007 African Champions – Amina Mustapha and Chika Chukwumerije (who is also a 2014 Commonwealth Silver Medallist and Africa’s only three-time Olympian, who won Nigeria’s only documented Olympic medal when he won a Bronze at the Beijing 2008 Olympics).
According to a joint press statement, the Taekwondo Federation needs someone at the leadership helm that really understands where the shoe hurts, and Mrs Binga fits the bill.
“Mrs Binga has been there and knows exactly how it feels to be an athlete. Her record as the only Nigerian Taekwondo athlete to have been African Champion back-to-back is inspirational in addition to the fact that she was undefeated nationally for 18 years and was the captain of the National taekwondo team.
“As a career professional in the Nigeria Customs Service and the highest ranked International Referee in the country, Mrs Binga has the network to pull sponsors that will help the Federation run programs. There is no National Taekwondo Tournament exclusively owned by the Federation. All the events are private events. Athletes need a lot more tournaments that is spread around the country and Mrs Binga can help achieve this.”
“Under the last dispensation, Nigeria failed to qualify for the Olympics for the very first time and we won just a solitary gold medal at the All African Games, our worst results since 1991. Those that are supporting the past dispensation cannot possible mean well for the sport. We need leadership that knows what it takes to win at the highest level and is willing to spend and mobilise networks to drive funding.”
“Unless a candidate like Mrs Binga wins, it is the athletes that will suffer a lack of events, lack of sponsorship, lack of developmental programs, and lack of qualification for a major event like the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. With Mrs Binga elected, athletes can look forward to new initiatives that helps their development and careers”
“In conclusion, the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation needs a pragmatic and purposeful leadership that Margaret Binga has been known to provide over the years in her various Taekwondo ventures. That is why we are solidly behind her candidacy to become President so that she can bring the desired change. It would be a victory for athletes and for the sport.
Recently, the appeals committee overturned the elections that brought in Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Binga and the re-run elections has been fixed for 20th July 2017 at the National Stadium, Abuja.