While I was determined not to post anything negative that will portray our great nation in bad light, our leaders seem to just have a skill for doing crazy and wrong things. I refused to publish this story when it broke yesterday because I felt Nigerians needed something positive and inspiring but however we owe it a point of duty to tell things as they are.
Olumide Oyedeji, Ex NBA star and current captain of the Nigerian Basket ball team was having a basket ball clinic in London. He was organizing a clinic for kids in the slums of London at Peckham. This was to discourage gun and knife crimes amongst the youth especially black youth. Statistics had shown that 66% of all knife and gun crimes involved black youths and 44% of these youths had Nigerian origins.
The event tagged ” Shoot a ball not a Gun and Pick a book not a Knife” is part of the charity work carried out by his organization ” the Olumide Oyedeji Youth Foundation”. Olumide recently visited the BBC studio’s in London where he was a guest on the programme ” focus on Africa” to talk about his charity work and more. As a great ambassador to Nigeria that he is, he felt he could lift the image of the country in a positive way by doing this and to help the government take credit for work they did not do, he decided to go and present a basketball gift to the ambassador FREE OF CHARGE with no strings attached. Just so Nigeria gets more positive publicity. After getting support in the clinics held in South Africa, US, China and even London from their governments, Olumide was turned back at the gates of the Nigerian High Commission in London. Despite writing them letters for over a year telling them of the program, they neither responded nor wanted to see him. In spite of confirmation that the High commissioner was available, Prince Tajudeen Adeniyi Gbadamosi SA to the high commissioner spoke to him via intercom saying”Go to another country’s embassy for support”
I boil with anger. This is our national hero, Olympian, NBA superstar, current captain to the national team, and someone that has done nothing to lift the name of the country turns him back without even the dignity of seeing him. SHAME on them. To think that the venue was the Damilola Taylor center, a venue named after a young Nigerian that was killed by gun and knife crime just a few years ago…its incredible how wicked and short sighted our leaders can be. Probably if Olumide had come to show support for a GEJ 2015 election support he would have been welcomed with red carpet.
Well, who needs them (government officials) anyway. The clinic went on successfully and the kids were really pleased. “God Bless you all for your support. I appreciate your prayers. The kids had so much fun and even had time to dance.” Olumide said after the clinic.
By next year , Nigeria would call on Olumide to come and help his country qualify for the Olympics again.