This year’s Summer Olympic Games kicks off in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, 5th of August, with a grand opening ceremony at the Maracana stadium. Suffice it to say that Team Nigeria has had no real preparations for the games due to lack of funds, they claim. Albeit, that is no longer news, it’s the same song over the years, just that this time around there’s a remix to it. The talking point at the moment is the announcement of Nigeria’s illustrious footballer and Chelsea star, Mikel Obi as the captain of the Olympic team.
Lekan Olofinji, a seasoned writer argues why Dalung’s choice of Mikel as captain is a horrendous blunder.
Here are the other three athletes that would have been best fit for the captaincy;
ENTERS Funke Oshinaike
She is a 40 year old Table Tennis veteran. In fact, she will be making her 6th appearance in the Olympics. Her debut appearance was 20 years ago in Atlanta where Nigeria won her first Olympics Gold medal in the Long Jump event of the games. She is currently the assistant captain of Team Nigeria so her own case is not really a biggie.
ENTERS Segun Toriola
I’ve been hearing this name since crèche…
He is also a veteran of the games and a table tennis star. He will be making a record 7th appearance in the Olympics – an African record breaking feat. But by Dalung deductions, Uncle Segun’s track record has nothing to do with leading the Olympics team
ENTERS Blessing Okagbare;
She is the current commonwealth games 100/200m sprint queen who would be making her third appearance at the Olympics. Blessing also holds the Women’s 100 metres African and Common Wealth Games Record for the fastest time at 10.79 and 10.85 seconds respectively. Blessing is following the path forged by her predecessor, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi – a former queen of the tracks. Plus, I think I have a crush on her, yet she was not considered for the captaincy. Na her own even pain me pass.
ENTERS Mikel Obi
He is the captain of the lack lustre Super Eagles team – the worst era of Super Eagles’ players I have seen since I started watching the team on our black and white cupboard like TV set in 1989.
Wait! Don’t draw conclusions yet, you’ve not heard the best part. Mikel is making his debut appearance in the Olympics as one of the two over-aged players in the National U-23 football team called the Dream Team VI (As usual they would only dream of the gold medal in Rio. All of them did except the first dream team that won gold in Atlanta 96), and the young man only just joined the Olympic team some days ago, then out of the blues he is named captain of the Team Nigeria by an ineffectual Dalung, ahead of Toriola, Oshinaike (Mikel’s Assistant),and Okagbare.
How? Please Dalung explain in one sentence…
No lemme rephrase the question, Baba how far? Do you see something in Mikel we don’t see ni? Abi did you sneak out to gulp some Alomo before you made the announcement ni?
But, should this issue really bother me? Shebi, it is our modus operandi as a country to never select the best to lead in any existing human avocation and sector of nation building.
What am I saying sef? We don’t even have the best in Aso rock, how much more a depleted Olympic team.
Going by these, then Mikel Obi is the best choice as captain of Team Nigeria, yeah?
Just another quick question to our Honourable Sport Minister though; Baba I understand you don’t have any idea of sports in its entirety. But, please sir, are you mad ni? Or do you think this is the FIFA World Cup?
Mikel Obi was overlooked by Oliseh when it came to the captaincy of the super Eagles for obvious reasons. And it took a closed door meeting between Ahmed Musa – the captain under Oliseh and Siasia – the then caretaker coach of the Super Eagles to relinquish the captain band to the seemingly most senior member of the Super Eagles. And that was after Mikel had given conditions that should be met if he was to play in the two-legged tie against the Pharoahs of Egypt.
Pray tell, what exactly was the rationale behind Mikel’s captaincy; football being the number one sport in Nigeria?
Aswear, I don’t know why our National Assembly is yet to call on Dalung to defend his choice. Those ones own na to they collect money for doing nothing.
Why on earth will a Mikel whose leadership of the Super Eagles is more believable in the print and social media than on the pitch or locker room be appointed captain of the entire Nigerian Olympics team that has sportsmen and women who made appearances in the Olympics long before Mikel played for his country in the Under 20 world cup in 2005.
You see, when I think about the many anomalies and maladies in this country, one thing comes to mind, Ngugi wa thiong’o’s book titled “WEEP NOT CHILD”. The day I read that book ehn was the day I stopped weeping for Africa.
Back to the matter,
The trio of Toriola, Oshinaike and Okagbare are highly respected by members of Team Nigeria and the entire Olympics community and I just hope this decision by the Commander-In-chief of Sports in Nigeria will not cause bad blood in the team.
That notwithstanding, I congratulate Nigeria’s most successful player of his era and current captain of the Super Eagles, John Obi Mikel on the addition of another feather to his cap.
I wish the team the best of luck!
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