Inadequate and careless medical service claims the life of an athlete at the on-going 16th national sport festival in Nigeria. Shell-shocked and enraged with the system, athletes threaten to boycott the sporting festival. So far the Governor of the Osun state, where the deceased athlete hails from, has pleaded with the athletes to compete on, in honor of their deceased compatriot.
Late Joseph Orjiakor, a Nigerian kick-boxer had just won his silver medal when he fainted. A delay in the arrival and offer of proper medical attention resulted in his death. The tragedy caused fellow athletes at the event to question the Nigerian medical system. Many of the athletes have however vowed to withdraw from the Festival.”we can not compete again, we do not want to die unnoticed,” some athletes groaned.
Razak Mustafa, the Special Adviser to Osun State Governor on Youth, Sports and Culture, has been able to convince the athletes to continue to compete in the Festival, which ends tomorrow. The grieving family of the deceased athlete have been sent condolences by the government and sports authorities.
The National sporting festival has been dampened with tears and moaning even as the event comes to a close. “It is unbearable that we lost our colleague because of poor attention,” another athlete retorted. So far, nothing has been said of the medical team blamed for the athlete’s death.
National disaster management in Nigeria, is a disaster. The quality of government medical facilities is unacceptable while most physicians and nurses are not trained to meet modern standards. According to information gathered from the official site of the United States Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria, civilian disaster management capabilities are nonexistent and in cases where they exist they are handled poorly. The site also states that although the military provides crowd control they lack the necessary resources.
In the meantime, the 16th national sports festival — Nigeria’s greatest sporting event– which began on Sunday in the north central state of Kaduna has continued with some of the country’s top officials in attendance. The Nigerian Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, and the Sports Minister, Sani Ndanusa were all there to witness the event. The opening ceremony saw march past by all the state contingents.