The First Lady of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Mrs Aisha Buhari on Friday donated a wheelchair accessible bus to para sports athletes.
The bus was presented to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development at a ceremony held at the VIP Lounge of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
The Nigeria First Lady, who was represented by her Special Adviser on health, Dr Victoria Ogala, while presenting the bus to the Sport Minister said the achievements of para athletes in various sports drew her attention to them and she decided that donating the bus to them would ease their movement and make them more comfortable, encouraging well-meaning Nigerians to toe the same line of benevolence.
Her words: “First and foremost, Nigerian Paralympians in all categories have proven to the world that there is ability in disability. I wish to congratulate the Honourable Minister of Sports for putting in place policies that put para-sports in the mainstream. These achievements have further confirmed the flexibility of the President Muhammadu Buhari adminstration.
“It is noteworthy that one of the agencies of the Federal government that has assisted in driving the agenda of wealth creation for youth, especially people living with disability, in this adminstration is the Ministry of Sports. I am proud to be identified with the Ministry of Sports for its laudable achievements and its contribution to the many successes of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration,” She said.
In his own remarks, the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare was happy with the donation stating that the gesture will go a long way in encouraging the athletes to win more medals for the country.
“This epoch-making event marks yet another era in the annals of the history of sports development in Nigeria.
“As you are aware, sports in Nigeria is an enviable endeavour that has been employed as a veritable tool for national unity, cohesion, peace, progress and international diplomacy. Since the inception of this present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), there has been a paradigm shift in the management of the sports sector. It is imperative to inform you that another parameter to measure the commitment of the Federal Government to the sector was the establishment of a new Department known as National Sports Festival and Para Sports to oversee and coordinate para sports in Nigeria.
“It gives me great pleasure on behalf of the Management and Staff of Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to express our sincere gratitude to Her Excellency for the unflinching support you have been giving to Para Sports in Nigeria.
“It is important to note that this gesture from the mother of the nation, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, in her magnanimity, to donate a Bus to Nigeria Para Sports is a watershed moment that has further confirmed the commitment to the progressive spirit of ‘leaving no one behind’ of the present administration.
“It is on record that Para Athletes have done Nigeria proud in many of their competitions and won a number of laurels that would not be forgotten in a hurry.
“The donation will no doubt boost the morale of the Athletes as well as motivate them to achieve more podium success. I wish to assure you all that para sports occupy the pride of place in the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the in-coming Administration will continue to promote this policy of inclusivity to all Nigerians.
“It is noteworthy that the passion of the First Lady for Para-sports also made her to sponsor the last 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championship held here in Abuja, Nigeria,” Dare concluded.