Lawmaker Wants Paralympics Medallists Rewarded


Chairman of the House Committee on Youth, Sports and Social Development in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Babatunde Ayeni, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to give a befitting honour to the Nigerian contingents who made the country proud at the London 2012 Paralympics games.

Ayeni made the call in his office while reacting to the performance of the country’s athletes at the on-going Paralympics.

According to the lawmaker, President Jonathan should direct the Nigerian Olympics Committee (NOC) and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development  as a matter of urgency, to put machinery in place to give the disabled athletes national honour.

According to Ayeni, “national honour should not be restricted only to the able-bodied persons. Disabled people who have contributed to the growth of this nation in one way or the other should also be rewarded.”

The lawmaker commended Yakubu Adesokan who won gold medal in (48kg) and broke a world record in power lifting in the men’s categories, and Ivory Nwokorie who also gave the country another gold in (44kg) women’s categories.”

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Ayeni pleaded with the Federal Government to reward the athletes well because they have been able to achieve what the able-bodied persons were unable to achieve during the Olympics in July.

Nigeria is currently at the 10th position on the medal table with eight medals on the overall.

It will be recalled that Paralympics started in 1948 as a way to give a sense of belonging and encouragement to grievously wounded veterans who lost hands and or sustained spinal injuries in the Second World War to participate in the sporting festival.

This year’s Paralympics Game started last Wednesday evening with 4,200 athletes from 165 countries in attendance.

—Eromosele Ebhomele

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