JONATHAN SPLASHES N5M EACH ON BADA, MONYE, UDOBONG, OTHERS
One of the gold medallists and Team Nigeria’s Captain to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games late Sunday Bada in action
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday honoured the six-member 4x400m men relay team that won gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, by awarding N5 million to each of the athletes, while their two coaches got N7 million each.
During the award ceremony held inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, the team members were presented to Jonathan by the Nigeria’s representative to the International Olympic Committee, Engr Habu Gumel before yesterday’s Federal Executive Council meeting. They are late Sunday Bada, Clement Chukwu, Jude Monye, Enefiok Udobong, Nduka Nwanze and Fidelis Gadzama; while their coaches are Solomon Abare and Innocent Egbunike. Bada’s award was collected by his wife, Adesumbo. It would be recalled that during the games, the team, led by the late Sunday Bada, won silver medal with their Americans won gold medal. The Nigerian team was later awarded gold medal following doping charges against the US team. Congratulating the medallists, Jonathan pledged that they would be given national honours in due course. The president, who said his administration, condemned all forms of cheating “whether in sports, academics, business or politics”, charged all sportsmen and women in Nigeria to operate and compete within the rules of the game and resist any temptation to take a shortcut to fame, adulation and wealth. “For me, I think today I’m as happy as yourselves (the medallists) because I was there in Sydney with you as the then deputy governor of my state. And if this medal was given to you there, I could’ve had a handshake with you, but what I missed in 2000, I’m getting it today. “Even though the honour you’ve been accorded today is most belated through no fault of yours, it’s, as they say, better late than never. “Your accomplishment at the highest level where the competition is very keen speaks volume of your tenacity, hard work and indomitable will to succeed. What has been proven by the gold medal that you’ve just received is that if we do things the right and honest way, the truth will always prevail no matter how long it takes. “This is part of the transformation of values that we seek to bring about and inculcate in your people today. “What your experience has shown is that our sportsmen and women must endeavour to operate and compete within the rules of the game. They must resist any temptation to take a short cut to fame, adulation and wealth. Let me use this unique opportunity to condemn cheating in all its ramifications, whether in sports, academics, business or in politics. Be informed that malpractice in any form is evil to society. We must build a society that puts premium on integrity and transparency and hard work. “Sports is a unifying tool for our country we must therefore do everything possible to nurture it and encourage its development. “I also must congratulate the International Olympic Committee for holding the tenets of drug free sports and its continuous efforts to provide a level playing field for all competitors. We all know that without their persistence and insistence on a drug free regime for sports competition, this celebration we are witnessing today wouldn’t have been possible. Once again, I congratulate our victorious 4x400m men gold medal relay team at the Sydney Olympics games. You’ve done yourselves and your country proud. The nation is equally appreciative of your sterling achievements for which I’ve the honour to announce some token. This happened in 2000, but since you’re receiving it today, it’s only proper that on behalf of the government, we show some token appreciation. “ “For the six members of the relay team, we’re giving you a token of N5 million each. And the team couldn’t have done that without the handlers. Innocent Egbunike and Solomon Abari who directly handled this team will get N7 million each. One of the guidelines for giving honours is getting gold in Olympics. So, automatically you’ll be given a national honour in due course,” Jonathan said.