No more neglect of sporting icons – President Buhari


The President, Muhammadu Buhari administration has assured all Nigerians, especially sports men and women,  that the country would no longer abandon past heroes and heroines. The President mentioned this in his speech at the unveiling of Nigeria’s 60 Sports Icons, one of the events scheduled to celebrate the country’s diamond jubilee, at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, on Friday.

The President said the recent re-categorisation of sports from recreation to business was targetted at ensuring professionals benefit fully from their talent and hard work. 

“Today’s event is the beginning of deliberate and sustained efforts to correct the errors of past neglect of our sports heroes and heroines,” President Buhari said. “We would continue to lend the necessary support to the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development towards the actualisation of the dreams of our sports men and women.

“The recent re–tagging and approval of sports from mere recreation to business is an attestation of this administration’s commitment to ensure that sports is used to the maximum benefit of the athletes and our economy. Sports without doubt has the potentials to create job opportunities for our teeming youths, take them off the streets and grow  our gross domestic  earnings.”

In his speech, the President travelled down memory lane, recalling some historic feats by past sporting icons. 

“Historically, our great country has a rich sports culture dating back to the empire games when the colonial masters used sports as a vehicle of recreation and fostering of unity. The inherent  talents  of young Nigerians blossomed  in our schools in pre independent  era  and exploded with the exploits  of talented athletes  like Sam Igun  who  put Nigeria  in the sports map with his  gold medal feat at the 1966 Commonwealth Games,  Emmanuel  Ifeajuna also made tremendous impact shortly  before our  Independence.  How can the history of our sports be written without a mention of the legendary  Teslim  Thunder Balogun, Ogan Kid Bassey, Dick Tiger and Power Mike, who won world titles in boxing and wrestling?  Who can forget the exploits of the goal keeping wizard  Inua Rigogo,Sam Okoye, Olawunmi  Majekodunmi  among others?” the president ssid

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