The Minister of Youth & Sport Development, Solomon Dalung, has called on the media to always quote him right and not out of context.
Dalung, who referred to recent reports credited to him in a national daily and a radio station that “athletes don’t need training to win medals but a winning mentality”, described it as “false, with an intent to create mischief.”
Dalung, currently in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to support the nation’s paralympians at the 2016 Paralympic Games, slammed the practice of “Yellow Journalism” by some writers which he said has contributed to the poor development of the sports industry.
Speaking from Rio, the minister said he did not grant a one-on-one interview with Brilla and challenged the writers to quote him right.
“The last interview I granted was at the flag-off of the NCC Tennis league at the National Stadium, Abuja. I was asked to compare the performance of Nigerian athletes at the just concluded Olympics and the on-going Paralympics and I said that the performance of Nigerian athletes at the Paralympic Games has established the fact that, apart from the right training, there was also need for the determination to excel. I said that they trained under the same conditions like the Olympic athletes and that, apart from inadequate preparations, there is nothing else we can attribute the performance of the Paralympians who have done so well at the Games to. I argued that, if their argument was lack of good training, the Paralympians went through the same [training]. In fact, they trained here in Nigeria. This was what I said to the journalists who were at the stadium for the tennis event.”
Dalung urged sports writers to verify their reports and desist from writing defamatory stories that were capable of bringing people to public ridicule or disparage them in the eyes of right-thinking people.
“We need to go back and do a proper x-ray of both circumstances, so as to enable us make the best of of a bad bargain, because the poor preparation was created due to paucity of funds, but the Paralympians are making Nigerians proud here in Rio”.