ABUJA, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria's delegates to the 2019 African Games departed the capital, Abuja, on Thursday via a chartered flight to Morocco where the games will be held from Aug. 19 to Aug. 31.
A total of 462 athletes and officials will represent the west African country in the Moroccan city of Rabat, said Olusade Adesola, Nigeria's permanent secretary of youth and sports development.
On Wednesday, a farewell ceremony was held for the Nigerian contingents in Abuja.
At the farewell ceremony, Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari, represented by the secretary to the government of the federation, urged the athletes to take the games seriously as that would serve as qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"Let me assure you that the Federal Government is fully committed to our successful participation in the African Games and will ensure that the welfare of the team is adequately taken care of," Buhari said in his message to the athletes. "I want to charge all athletes and team officials going to the games to be worthy ambassadors of our great country, both on the field of play and outside the sports arena."
The president said his expectation during the African Games is Team Nigeria at the top of the medals table.
Team Nigeria finished second in the last edition of the African Games in Congo Brazzaville in 2015.