The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) family on Monday expressed shock and sadness over the death of its former president, retired Maj.-Gen. Henry Adefope.
Late Adefope, also a former chairman, National Sports Council-- now National Sports Commission (NSC) - died in Lagos on March 11, aged 85.
The deceased was also formerly an external affairs minister of Nigeria.
Tunde Popoola, NOC secretary, said on Monday in Lagos that the death of the body's former president was a surprise to the entire NOC family.
“It is very shocking, we have once again lost a rare gem in the world of sports because he was a man of integrity; he was someone we were all looking up to.
“In spite of his age, he remained strong and healthy,” Popoola said
The secretary, however, urged his family to take heart and take solace from the fact that the deceased lived a good life worthy of emulation.
Also, Mr Fasina Thomas, a former public relations manager of the NSC, said the death was a great loss to the NOC, NSC and the sporting community in general.
Thomas said the deceased was a great giant who held important positions-- both in the international scene and national sporting level.
“Adefope was a great achievement for his family to be proud of. He was an important man who stood for what was right.
“He was a disciplined man who loved sports and did what was right to see that sports developed in Nigeria,” Thomas said.
Tony Ubani, Public Relations Officer of NOC, said that the committee would miss Adefope's contributions, adding:
“He was committed to sports and contributed his quota to the development of sports in Nigeria,” Ubani said.
The late Adefope was also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).