Nigeria’s men’s basketball team, D’Tigers’ former captain, Olumide Oyedeji has lauded the appointment of ex-director-general of National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Alhassan Yakmut as the country’s chef de mission for the upcoming 12th All Africa Games in Morocco.
The basketball icon recounted how Yakmut ensured at a point during his tenure as NSC director-general that Nigeria’s athletes, for the first time in over two decades, looked attractive and in uniform at the airport, before and after any international competition.
Oyedeji, who participated in six editions of the African Games, from 1995 in Harare to 2015 in Congo, further recalled that Team Nigeria’s kits arrived early and all members of the contingent wore same attire during the opening ceremony match past.
The former D’Tigers’ star, who captained the entire Nigerian contingent in three of his six appearance (starting with 2007 in Algiers), added that Yakmut always ensured that the athletes looked professional in his era.
The new president of Nigerian Olympians Association (NOA) added that he believes Yakmut will excel as chef de mission at Maroc 2019, because the country’s athletes always feel warmly with him and he accords them cordial attention, by always being ready to listen to their demands.
He further recalled that the welfare of Nigerian athletes was great and better under Yakmut, as bonuses were paid regularly in camp and extra rewards came immediately after any medal was won.
Oyedeji added: “Mallam Alhassan Yakmut brought a new touch when he was the Director-General of the National Sports Commission.
“He personally visited the ultra modern gym for badminton at the Police College as well as the taekwondo training ground in Lagos.
“During the All Africa Games in Congo, the unexpected happened as Nigeria was kitted by PEAK; that was the first time such happened.
“He made sure all the athletes were comfortable – allowances before they left the country and bonuses immediately they won medals.”