President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, approved National Honours of Officer of the Order of the Niger and cash awards of N200 million for Team Nigeria contingents to the 2022 Commonwealth Games and World Athletics championships.
At an award ceremony held at the State House, Abuja, the President congratulated the athletes for their “outstanding performances” saying their hour of sporting glory beamed the ‘‘radar of the world on Nigeria’’ and their exploits have projected the positive image of the country.
This is according to a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled ‘President Buhari rewards Commonwealth Games, World Athletics Championships athletes with national honours, N200 million.’
They include gold winners and other medal winners including the world champion in the 100m hurdles, Tobiloba Amusan, Ese Brume, Blessing Oborodudu, Oluwafemiayo Folashade, Taiwo Liadi, Ikechukwu Obichukwu, Bose Omolayo, Favour Ofili, Nasiru Sule, Ifechukwude Ikpeoyi, Ebikewenimo Welson, Hannah Reuben and Elizabeth Oshoba.
Speaking at a presidential reception in honour of the athletes, the President 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.
Describing the athletes as champions, worthy ambassadors, national heroes and heroines, Buhari said the awards will “spur them to greater heights.”
He said ”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.”
The President noted that 12 times the world stood still as Nigeria’s flag was hoisted and the National Anthem recited. 35 times we made it to the podium.