The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has described the Nigerian para powerlifting team (the unstoppables) as a team of champions for qualifying for the World Cup, and also the 2020 Paralympics.
She said this during a courtesy visit by the team and its officials to the Presidential Villa on Tuesday 26th November, 2019.
Mrs. Buhari said the achievements of the team had brought glory to the country, leading to its nomination to host the para-powerlifting world cup for 3 consecutive years (2020 – 2022).
In a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Aliyu Abubakar, she spoke on the tournament taking place in February 2020, Mrs. Buhari said she was proud to be the chief host of the tournament and will do her best to ensure a hitch-free exercise. She said Nigeria is always ready to showcase itself to the world, and called on all relevant agencies, the private sector and all Nigerians to support her in welcoming the world.
Speaking, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the competition, Dr. Mahmood Halilu Ahmed said Nigeria secured the hosting rights of the competition on merit owing to the repeated successful outings of the team in various countries, winning most of the medals on multiple occasions. He recalled the decision by the Nigerian Para Powerlifting Federation to appoint the First Lady as the host of the tournament, expressing the confidence that she will deliver a successful exercise.
The President, Nigeria Para-powerlifting Federation, Mrs. Queen Uboh spoke with visible joy on the success story of the athletes as they travelled around the world winning laurels and bringing glory to Nigeria, saying it is important that Nigeria recognize their effort so that when they retire, they will never fall into destitution.
Mrs. Uboh said the Federation had hatched a plan to raise funds for all retired powerlifting athletes and called on state governments to buy into the plan and support those from their states. She said the acceptance by the First Lady to host the event is symbolic and will go a long way to bring the issue of Nigeria’s disabled to the discussion table.