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Team Nigeria’s Captain, Chika Chukwumerije stays back in London as Father, Senator Uche Chukwumerije calls for Sack of Sports Minister after Poor Olympics Performance



Uche Chukwumerije, a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and father of Team Nigeria’s Captain at the London 2012 Olympics, Chika Chukwumerije, has called for sanctions against all the people responsible for the country’s failure to win medals at the just-concluded world games.

The Senator who was in London for the Olympics told the News Agency of Nigeria just before his departure that what had happed in London was a “national shame’’.

According to the Senator, the Sports Minister and all those at the head of sporting authorities in Nigeria should be sacked.

“I believe that now the first and foremost thing that must be done is that somebody will have to take responsibility. Those at the head must take responsibility. It is done everywhere. If Nigeria had got one gold medal, they would have been bloating and rejoicing.

“In the same way, when we fail, they should be punished because they are the people at the head. And so, all those at the head of sporting authorities from the minister to the head of the ministry should be sacked.

“This will serve as a deterrent to others so that they know that in Nigeria there must be a reward or punishment for role performance.”

Meanwhile, his son, Chika Chukwumerije who was billed to leave London for Nigeria today adjusted his departure schedule to enable him undertake what he called “proper reflections” under the right atmosphere devoid of distraction. The taekwondo athlete told Punch that the emotions of the Games will take a little while to heal.

“I had to change my travelling plans. The truth is that I just need a little more time on my own to think and decide the next best move to make under this circumstance.

“This is now like plan B and I don’t have to rush to a decision as you know this was far from what I thought of the Olympics.”

Chika represented Nigeria in Taekwando. He was a medal hopeful at the London Olympics after winning a Bronze medal for Nigeria in Beijing 2008.

What do you think about their comments? The Senator, calling for the sack of the Sports Minister and all those at the head of sporting authorities and Team Nigeria’s captain staying back in London to have proper reflections?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. chinco

    August 14, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I’m sorry did he actually say ‘bloating and rejoicing’? Or ‘Gloating and rejoicing’, lol. Anyway I think he’s right, something should be done.

  2. QueenofEverything

    August 14, 2012 at 10:14 am

    it’s about time someone at the top called his peers to order! Well done uncle Uche 🙂
    as for Chika, do what you gotta do…
    @Chinco, I’m pretty sure they/he meant gloating…

  3. Janet

    August 14, 2012 at 10:23 am

    It is clear that there is a problem, Nigeria is all about “connections” instead of using those with actual sporting talent. Until Nigeria gets themselves out of this whole bribing culture and connections of putting children and family friends forward instead of those who can actually perform best at the sport this “national disgrace” will continue to repeat itself. It’s time to do better Nigeria!!!

    • sal

      August 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Janet i couldn’t agree more with you. soo true

    • Lulu

      August 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      U can be more on point….agree totally

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 20, 2012 at 2:31 am

      lol…Chukwumerijie was a legend in lagos country club. I was witness to that. He won us our first TaeKwonDo olympic medal in beijing. I don’t think this has to do with connection, if you can run 9.75 seconds, no politics can block you from getting on the track. Our sports is on a demise. We don’t train athletes, Blessing Okagbare amongst many are results of american NCAA training. Very few athletes are trained in Nigeria.

  4. John

    August 14, 2012 at 10:29 am

    While not excusing the current Minister of Sports, the failure of TEAM Nigeria to win medals in the Olympics is not the fault of this administration solely. The rot in sports administration started a long time ago and its in a free fall. Something more drastic should be done than just calling for the sack of the minister of sports. Corruption, mismanagement and lack of proper preparation are major reasons for the dismal performance.

  5. jemmi

    August 14, 2012 at 10:31 am

    okay..since when did yagazie’s name become chika…#jusaskn

    • nelly

      August 14, 2012 at 11:03 am

      i was going to ask same thing oh, from Yaga to chika. i’m sure he’s hurt cos he didn’t get any medal, the yaga i know way back from FUTO always likes to win.

    • Lizzie

      August 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      He’s Yagazie Chika Chukwumerije!

  6. Chocolatier

    August 14, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I’m glad this actually happened to Nigeria. This fire brigade approach is certainly not getting us anywhere. The painful thing is that we have people in this country who can represent us in every game, win medals and even break world records but no….those at the helm of affairs prefer to select people they know. Its so shameful. Imagine a tiny country like Botswana winning a bronze medal when the so-called ” Giant of Africa” did not even feature at medal table. What a shame!

  7. Janet

    August 14, 2012 at 10:35 am

    I also believe it is time that Nigeria start taking sports seriously. How can we expect medals if the athletes are not being sponsored? Training facilities are poor and the association is filled with greedy corrupt ministers who are making matters worst! Before they open their mouths to shout that it is a national disgrace they should study the counties that did get medals. Their sportsmen and sportswoman train ALL YEAR ROUND because they can afford to do so with good coaching and facilities, Nigeria will provide rubbish facilities and no financial support and expect good results. RUBBISH!

  8. harrison

    August 14, 2012 at 10:37 am

    They have all failed the us as Nigerians,both the sport ministry and the senate which uche chukwumerije belongs to,the moral of the story is just the provabial pot calling kettle black.

  9. flare

    August 14, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Aow art thou fallen O Giant of Africa, wen ll al dis nepotism stop. it hs eaten deep into our bone marrows n until sth is done it ll continue 2 do so. i beliv der re young energised potential athletes coming up bt we choose 2 pick 4rm d same old 1’s dat shld b mentoring d younger 1’s. age is nt on 1’s side. dat u re strong 2dy doesnt guarantee u 2 b still active d way u were in d nxt 5yrs. i wish we ll learn frm our mistakes. 2ndly fire bridgade work ll take us no where, 2016 ll b anoda olympics, hw prepared re we goin 2 b, wht plans re we makin or ll we fold our hands till d die minute den we start d usual rush rush.


    August 14, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I am yet to come into cognisance of d fact dat we as a nation filled wt able bodied individuals cud go out to an event such as d olympics and come back empty…2 .2billion naira??? dats a fat shame. a world wide disgrace to d so called GIANTS OF AFRICA..wia are all our ijaw brethrens? dey are lik fishes in d ocean..wia are our conductors no pay nah..u go see say dem run pass usain bolt..dem don spLit d money o jare..lets jes keep our hopes is well

  11. BIMBY

    August 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Please, ignore my 1st my comment. It was sent in error without proper editing. I meant to say that, I refuse to applaud the Senator for his comment/resolve to punish those at the helm of affairs in the sports minstry. ‘Cos I doubt he would av been this vocal if his son wasn’t part of the Nigerian team at the Olympics.

  12. Tracey

    August 14, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Everybody is part of it! Even the so called athletes who represented the country.

    To think that of one the basket ball athletes who represented Nigeria ended up denying the country is but a big shame.

    Please you all should take a minute and watch the disgrace in this link below:

  13. Princess of Zion

    August 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    There’s a lot to do! Nigeria certainly has talent; scout them, train and develop them and invest the resources!

  14. YummyMummy

    August 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Let me add by saying all the atlethes at the olympic village left yesterday,while would you stay in another persons country to reflect,is that part of annual leave or does Nigerian government foots the bill still while taking extra day in London?

    This is lack of direction,Leaders dont dwell too long on issues,they move on and seek solution.

    • Olivia

      August 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      So the senator’s son who is the team leader can stay back and lounge in the UK, is he not supposed to be on ground and return to Nigeria with other athletes? So as he is lounging in the UK, how about the other athletes are they also allowed to stay back and lounge?

      or because his father is a senator, then he becomes immune

  15. pfunk

    August 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Shame on Nigeria,national disgrace.Some of the things Nigeria are good at

    Are we the giant of africa more like shameful face of africa boosting of the most corrupt water.electricity,bad schoools ,healthcare below par the list goes on.

    • gurly

      August 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      evilness ke? na u biko

  16. Noisemaker

    August 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Can Senator Chukwumerije just shut up! After his son alone, got N75 million to prepare for London 2012, how is it the Ministry’s fault that his son failed to perform and win any medal?

  17. Chattyzee

    August 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Abegi! The senator should carry chair and sit down jare! There is enough blame to go around and him for the senator also, so please. It’s obviously not the athletes coz they did their best. It’s Nigeria that needs to understand that consistent PREPARATION is the key.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 20, 2012 at 2:33 am

      Emm…Chukwumerijie won a bronze in Taekwondo in the Beijing olympics. #jussayin

  18. Moi

    August 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    We are all to blame. With all the potential present in us, we have really let ourselves down. I give credit to all the Nigerian athletes who still went for the games aiming to do themselves and their country proud. However those countries who achieved their goals had athletes putting in graft and hard work EVERYDAY for 4 years and more with the help of excellent training facilities and with the support of their governement . Somehow we have allowed injustice and corruption to be the order of the day. Many of us have been corrupt in our work, we have aspired to be wealthy like those who steal from the national coffers at one time or the other or we have put pressure knowingly or unknowingly on family in government or we have kept quiet and watched as our politicians at the local, state and national level plunder our resources. No one ever looks at the big picture and says if we all have, what a wonderful place Nigeria would be and what we need is not money in our pockets but infrastructure that works for the people, free and world standard healthcare that takes care of all the people and a government that is committed to serving the people. Anyway I don’t blame anyone because I myself am a coward just like the other ‘200million mumus’

  19. Gorgeous

    August 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Well it is not anybody’s fault that his son couldnt bring the medal home for us either. Abi na connection get the boy on the national team, but connection no fit win medal. This senator should not be the one to talk.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 20, 2012 at 2:34 am

      Emm…Chukwumerijie won a bronze in Taekwondo in the Beijing olympics. #jussayin

      Also dude was beating up boys in Lagos Country Club in the 80’s he always won and mostly by knockouts. No connections in his talent…just saying…

  20. klaw

    August 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    @yummy mummy:nigeria is not footing 1kobo of his bills.moreover he could afford that even if his dad wasnt a senator talkless of his dad.i personally know him and his brother we served together..they are very humble as rich as they are.therefore he can afford to rest in the uk for the next 5years(no big deal)[email protected] he attempted…what have u done for nigeria???or u think the world starts and ends in Nigeria so he must rest here too simply because he represented nigeria in the olympics??i really cant fathom your style of reasoning!!!

  21. Nelo

    August 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    @ niosemaker: can you prove chika got N75 billion?
    I mean Senator Chukwumerije is just expressing his anger like the rest of us. The fact that we kept making it to the finals of the races shows great potential in the athletes… for the sports minister, he needs to shut it down and shut it up….we dont need excuses o! only a way forward. moving on, Yagazie baby, take all the time u need, i’ll be waitng for u honey wen u get

    • Stepheny

      August 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      @ Nelo: So being the Nigerian Olympics team leader, Yagazie can chill back in the UK abi while all other athletes can journey back home? and you support it! all of you are the same. So it’s a good leadership skill, to leave your followers behind when they you ought to be there the most. This UK that he stayed back to lounge in, such a thing will never be tolerated. And thats why they’ve gotten as far as they have in all facets. Leaders at even the minutest level learn to take responsibility. Thats how it works over here! I’m so sure you’re his friend or family …..don’t worry you have a share in the N75 billion even if you didn’t rant and vent off on bella naija.

      Tomorrow when their leadership tenure expires, another family will take over and you’l come back here to critise them

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 20, 2012 at 2:39 am

      @Stepheny how many athletes came back to Nigeria? Blessing did not come back, Amaechi did not, you know why…because most of our athletes train outside Nigeria. If not for countries like US and UK we would not have even made the finals. Get your fact right abeg.

  22. veeva

    August 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    The problem is lack of sports in primary and secondary school. Education ministry should make sports compulsory part of the curriculum for every scholar to participate and develop oneself and also give the school all the support they need.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 20, 2012 at 2:37 am

      @Veeva it is not just that. Ask the sport minister to tell you what the secondary school record is in 100 m and he will stutter, we don’t track records, we don’t even actively seek out talent to cultivate for future competitions.

  23. Lulu

    August 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Nigeria should get over man-know-man attitude!! This is the root of the problems i Niger. As long as u know who is recruiting, your family memeber get to represent the country even though they are not qualified! There are definitely better sports men on the streets of Niger who would do better than those that rep Niger in the London Olympics!! They just dont have the opportunites to move ahead bcos of all the issues in nigeria

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 20, 2012 at 2:35 am

      My guy…google is your friend o. Chukwumerijie won bronze for Nigeria in Beijing. He lost his london fight by one point. If you know anything about Taekwondo you will know how close that fight was.

  24. tobi

    August 15, 2012 at 8:16 am

    well said @veeva ..we also need inter house sports for the Local govt area also for the states and universities as well

  25. naijababe

    August 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    This man is only talking because his son didn’t win. Maybe, if they will stop useless connections, and go for the real talent with potential, it will come out with good results. Nigeria needs to incorporate sports in the school curriculum from young, it’s that simple. They will get better as they get older, and be able to compete internationally. Yes, some of these greedy ministers need to be fired, including the man talking, all they do is steal the money and put it in their pocket. If Nigerians are ready to be HONEST with themselves, be practical, stop running their mouths and actually spend the money wisely, then change will come.

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