Nigerians recently celebrated the achievement of Tobi Amusan, the athlete who made history at the recently concluded World Championship Games in Oregon.
Amusan ran 12:12 seconds in the semi-finals, breaking the world record, before lowering it by 6 microseconds to win gold in 12:06 seconds.
Among the celebrations, Nigerians were concerned when the country’s name was misspelled on the uniforms of some athletes.
Specifically on the kit of Ofili, a member of the 4×100 team. NIGERIA was misspelled NIGERA. In fact, it was correctly spelled on the kits of the others.
Rosemary Chukwuma, Grace Nwokocha, and Joy Udo-Gabriel formed a quartet with Ofili. They broke the 30-year-old African record of 42.39 seconds in the women’s 4x100m relay set by Christy Opara-Thompson, Beatrice Otondu, Faith Idehen, and Mary Onyali-Omagbemi at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
They ran a new 42.22secs to finish fourth behind the United States, which defeated Jamaica and Germany to win gold.
Nigerians took to Twitter to express their displeasure at the wrongly spelt name.
Steward Godwin wrote, “Which one is “NIGERA” again na? Shirt designer, you had just one job, just one!”
“What in God’s name is this, How come Nigeria’s kit at the World Athletics Championship bears “NIGERA”. A country with administrators that doesn’t even care abt integrity,” @iamsirdeli commented.
Ayo-Ben-Niji wrote, “Which country is NIGERA or it is just one of our many carelessness that have resulted to this?”
Another user, @mr_nalie queried Nike and the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, “Is it that Nike made this kit for us to wear at a world championship then spelt Nigeria wrongly or Sunday Dare hired our brothers from Aba? Does it even mean the man in charge still insisted the athlete wore “NIGERA” after seeing the error. What a nation!!!”
However, in response to the outburst, the Secretary-General, Athletics Federation of Nigeria Secretary General, Adisa Beyioku, said, “It is really disheartening to know that a few Nigerians could shift their focus from the incredible feats our athletes performed in Oregon, which attracted commendation from the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to a factory error made by giant sportswear and equipment company, NIKE, and which affected just the vest Ofili wore at the championships.”