President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja Thursday evening approved National Honours and cash awards of N200 million for Team Nigeria contingents to the 2022 Commonwealth Games and World Athletics championships.
The President who was speaking at the presidential reception in honour of the athletes said his Government is committed to rewarding excellence, no less for members of Team Nigeria who ignited the spirit of victory in the nation through stellar performances at international competitions.
Nigeria won a total of 35 medals, including 12 gold, 9 silver and 14 bronze at the just concluded Commonwealth games and claimed the best position amongst African nations,
A breakdown of the medals showed outstanding performance from multi-medalist Tobi Amusan (100m Women’s Hurdle and 4x100m Relay), Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, Grace Nwokocha (4x100m Relay); Miesinnei Mercy Genesis (50 kg), Blessing Oborududu (57 kg) and Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg) in Women’s Freestyle wrestling; as well as Adijat Adenike Olarinoye (55kg) and Rafiatu Folashade Lawal (59kg) in Women’s weightlifting.
President Buhari congratulated all the awardees and recipients and expressed confidence that this will spur them to greater heights.
The President who described the athletes as champions, worthy ambassadors, national heroes and heroines, heaped praises on them for proudly flying the Nigerian flag in nine sporting events.
”I watched with millions of Nigerians those exciting moments when you all brought smiles to us and our homes by breaking world, national and games records, as well as achieving personal best in your careers.
”Your outstanding performances in recent times are consistent with the determination of a nation always yearning for excellent performance.
“You all, members of Team Nigeria have ignited the spirit for victory in our nation but even more you have been victorious in major sporting championships and games.
”I have followed keenly your achievements at the World Championships in Oregon USA and indeed your remarkable performance at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
”And I am very pleased that you displayed at both the personal and group levels great sporting talents and delivered for your country great podium performances,” he said.
The President told the athletes that their hour of sporting glory beamed the ‘‘radar of the world on Nigeria’’, adding that their exploits have gone a long way in projecting the positive image of the country.
”Twelve times the world stood still as our green, white green national flag was hoisted and the National Anthem recited. Thirty-five times we made it to the podium. You all Team Nigeria made that possible.
”You brought glory and honour to our country. And today, on behalf of the nation- I say, THANK YOU!”
Team Nigeria finished in 7th place at the Commonwealth Games.