Kebbi State First Lady, Dr.Zainab Shinkafi- Bagudu, and Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, and four other prominent Nigerians have been inducted as patrons of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC).
The Wife of Kebbi State governor, who is the founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation, a foundation renowned for using sports to create awareness on the danger of cancer and the promotion of healthy lifestyle, was charged to use her clouts to advocate for increased representation of African countries in sports committees and sports in the next Olympics in Tokyo, Japan in 2020.
A statement from the Medicaid Cancer Foundation on Tuesday said Dr Bagudu investiture was in recognition of her contributions to sports over the years, through her foundation.
“Medicaid Cancer Foundation has used sporting activities such as football tournaments, walks, hiking, and yoga, among others, to advocate against cancer and promote healthy lifestyle”, it said.
Further, it listed other prominent individuals who were also investitured as NOC patrons include Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, Major General Adamu Dyeri (rtd), Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima and Alhaji Bashari Mohammed Gumel.
The statement, which expressed the delight of the Foundation for the recognition accorded its founder, Dr. Zainab, noted that all the newly inductees are expected to further boost Nigeria’s interests in the International Olympics Committee (IOC) by liaising with other inductees across the continents to agitate and secure increased participation of African countries in Olympic games.
The statement said the newly inducted patrons should as a matter of urgency build external relationships that would facilitate current agitation for increased representation of Nigerians in IOC as well as generate funds for NOC to assist Nigeria prepares for Tokyo, 2020 Olympic Games.
Speaking during the investiture, Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalong, said that politicians and the populace should out take time out to exercise daily in order to keep fit and remain healthy.
He said sport was the easiest way to combat crime and promote peace in the country and advised state governors to use a percentage of their security vote to promote sports amongst youth in their states to get them engaged and ensure peace.
Dr. Zainab Shinkafi -Bagudu said that the Medicaid Cancer Foundation would continue to sensitize Nigerians on the need to exercise and stay healthy.
The NOC is responsible for co-coordinating and supporting Nigerian competitors in the Olympics. Out of 26 sports, Nigeria’s highest participation was 12 in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.