Gymnastics is a sports that has its own share of bottlenecks over the years in Nigeria.
Coach Anthony Asuquo reveals extensively to The Athletic NG on how the deal turned sour.
Chief Isaiah Obano was the technical director and veteran gymnastics coach in the Nigerian Gymnastics Federation, he pioneered the Nigeria-Japan Gymnastics Exchange Programme which was a platform to develop the sport of gymnastics in terms of talent discovery, development and training of Nigerian coaches.
In 2017, the ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Yutaka Kikuta during his diplomatic tour visited the National Stadium, Abuja with Chief Obano successfully flagged off a pact on the Nigeria-Japan Exchange programme.
Consequently, with a new directive from the Presidency, a new board was inaugurated by the Nigerian Gymnastics Federation that ousted the Chief Obano led board.
Chief Obano refused to give some vital information about the exchange programme to the new board.
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Coach Asuquo affirmed, “I remembered a coach from the Lagos state commission who sent a letter to him (Obano) enquiring on the Japan deal and that no information was passed to the federation.”
“Coach Obano maintained his stand that the new board are going to snatch the programme from him and he wouldn’t get to take part in this programme that will be executed by the presidents people and his brother.”
Coach Asuquo emphasized that, “So because of the president working with his brothers, people are scared of passing information or try to promote the federation from their own end.”
“Chief Obano has a lot of experience to grow gymnastics in this country and he has a whole lot of connections outside there, I don’t know. Coach Obano is somebody we shouldn’t just push aside, he is a father that will give us a lot of information and then share his expertise with us based on how we can grow gymnastics in Nigeria. We can all work together to see how to purify this sport and then move to the next level.