The Chairman, Local Organising Committee for the Confederation of African Athletics, Asaba 2018, Chief Solomon Ogba has taken responsibility for the lapses at the ongoing Championships and has promised to make the event more favourable.
He made this known during a media briefing at the mixed zone in the Stephen Keshi stadium, Asaba on Thursday afternoon.
According to him, foreign athletes had issues with their transportation because they did not disclose their flight schedule to the organisers.
Ogba claimed no athlete slept at the Muritala Mohammed Airport in Lagos as two separate hotels were booked for the stranded teams.
“Six days ago, a journalist told me that some countries are boycotting but it’s far away from the truth when I confirmed. Nobody slept at the airport. About 400 were accommodated at a convenient hotel.
He said, “They told us that some athletes were at the airport and cannot go to Asaba. The foreign athletes put the organizers under pressure but that is not what we are saying right now because we have passed this stage”.
He berated the Nigerian media for not asking questions from the organisers but rather got information from journalists accompanying the stranded teams.
“The Nigeria media did not help matters and did not ask questions from the right source. If the team had given us their arrival schedules, we would have known were they would be arriving. This is Africa, people who cannot provide for you when they come, they’ll want to attack because they see Nigeria as a big brother”, he added.
“Nigeria got the right to host and after one year, we almost lost it but the governor graciously agreed to host.I want to appeal that we must also collectively try to support this Championship
“When I was President of the AFN, we were left stranded for Eight hours at the country’s international airport. The reason for this conference is because I’ve seen some bit of aggression coming from some quarters.
This is the second time Nigeria will be hosting this competition, with the first one in 1989 at the National Stadium in Lagos.