President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday hosted and rewarded victorious sportsmen and women in Nigeria, with the victorious Golden Eaglets who won the maiden edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in China, rewarded 30 years after their feat.
The Eaglets golden team won the first FIFA cadet trophy in 1985 during the reign of General Muhammadu Buhari as military Head of State, whose promise to honour the team for its victory was not fulfilled because it was overthrown in August 1985.
Each member of the1985 Golden Eaglets era was given N2 million for their feat which placed the country on the global sporting map.
Ex-players who benefited from the reward includes but not only Fatai Atere, Nduka Ugbade, Jonathan Akpoborie, Baldwin Bazuaye, Victor Igbinoba and the late Kingsley Aikiobare who was represented by his aged mother, among others.
President Buhari doled out the award when he hosted Nigerian athletes that won laurels for the country since may last year at the state House in Abuja.
The U-17 team that won the world championship last year were also rewarded with N1.2 million each while the chief coach, Emmanuel Amuneke was given 900,000.00 and his assistants got 600,000.00 each
Each player who featured for U-23 football team, the Dream Team Eagles VI which won the African U-23 Nations Championship and Rio Olympic ticket received N600, 000 (Six Hundred Thousand naira). Similarly, the Olympic-bound Nigeria’s senior basketball team, D’ Tigers who won the 2015 Afrobasket for the first time were given N600, 000 (Six Hundred thousand naira each), with most of them wondering why they would be invited to receive such an amount all the way from United States and other parts of Europe.
World Scrabble champion, Wellington Jighere eventually received N1.5 million just as his coach was rewarded with N1.2 million. There were also N600, 000 (Six Hundred Thousand naira) and N450, 000 (Four hundred and fifty thousand naira) cash gifts to Power lifters-gold and silver medallists while victorious Nigerian wrestlers who emerged champions at World Wrestling championship just before 2015 African games got N1.2 million each.
While making pronouncement, Buahri enthused “We should encourage young players home and abroad who are eligible to play for the country. When you show appreciation for what sportsmen and women do, it encourages and inspires others.”
He further warned sports officials not to allow a repeat of 2012 woeful Olympic performance, adding “I am particularly concerned about our participation at the forthcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games. We must not allow a repetition of the unsavory experience at the London 2012 Olympics where Nigerian athletes failed to make it to the podium.”
According to President Buhari, the reward given to them was not payment for their services to the country but a “token of appreciation”.
See the full list of beneficiaries below:
2015 World Wrestling Championship
Wrestler (Bronze Medallists) N1,200,000.00
FIBA 2015 Male Afro-Basketball Champion, D’Tigers
Players (Gold Medallists) N600,000.00
Team Officials N250,000.00
2015 FIBA Africa Under 16 Female Championships
Players (Silver Medallists) N400,000.00
Team Officials N150,000.00
2015 IPC Asian Open International Powerlifting Championship
Gold Medallists N600,000.00
Silver Medallists N450,000.00
Team Officials N250,000.00
World English Language Scrabble Champion
Player (Gold Medallist) N1,500,000.00
Team secretary N450,000.00
WBC Silver Cruiser Weight Title
Winner (Title Holder) N1,500,000.00
2015 CAF Under 23 Cup Of Nations Champions
Players (Gold Medallists) N500,000.00
Head Coach N500,000.00
Assistant Coaches N300,000.00
Other Team Officials N300,000.00
2015 FIFA Under 17 Male Football Champions
Players (Gold Medallists) N1,200,000.00
Head Coach N900,000.00
Assistant Coaches N600,000.00
Team Secretary N300,000.00
Medical Team N300,000.00
Other Officials N200,000.00
1985 FIFA Under 17 Male Football Champions
Players (Gold Medallists) N2,000,000.00
By Olisemeka Obeche