By Jude Opara, Abuja
The federal government through the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development has concluded arrangements to honour 60 Nigerian sports icons and personalities that have won laurels for the country as well as those that have made meaningful impact on sports development in the last sixty years.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Special Adviser on Media to the Minister, John Joshua Akanji said the event was part of activities organised by the Federal government to celebrate Nigeria’s Diamond jubilee.
Akanji said the Ministers of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare while receiving the Report of the Committee set up to collate the votes by Nigerians for the 60 awardees stated that the event was initiated to reward excellence and hard work.
Unfortunately most of these patriots have died, but we are also consoled that many of them are still alive.
“We initiated this award because of the need to reward our heroes and heroines who have sweated to put the name of Nigeria on the world map.
“Another import of the award is that it will encourage the younger athletes and indeed Nigerians in other fields to always give their best to the country, knowing that their efforts would be appreciated by the country”.
Dare also appealed to other deserving awardees who may not have been captured in this first edition to be patient, assuring that they could also be rewarded in subsequent editions.
“I appreciate the effort the collation committee put in to arrive at these 60 names because the truth is that there are so many more deserving Nigerians because we wanted to restrict the number to only 60 to commemorate the Diamond jubilee of our country”, Dare stated.
The event which will hold at the Velodrome of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja on Friday October 16, is expected to be graced by President Muhammadu Buhari, members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as well as some of the awardees and members of their families.
The statement further revealed that the committee received over 3,500 nominations who were voted for the honours through various social media channels, television, radio and other platforms.