By Salifu Usman, Abuja
All is now set to honour 60 Nigerian sports icons and personalities that have won laurels for Nigeria as well as those that have made meaningful impact on sports development in the last sixty years.
Those who were nominated include former African footballer of the year, Kanu Nwankwo, Daniel Amokachi, Emmanuel Amunike, Chioma Ajunwa, Mary Onya- li, Super Eagles’ squad to USA ’94 World Cup, China 1985 team, among others.
The event is part of activities organised by the federal government to celebrate Ni- geria’s Diamond jubilee.
Minister of Youth and Sports Develop- ment, Sunday Dare, while receiving the report of the Committee set up to collate the votes by Nigerians for the 60 award ees, said the event was initiated to reward excellence and hard work.
“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. Unfortunately, most of these patriots have died, but we are also consoled that many of them are still alive.”
“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.”
The Minister appealed to other deserving awardees who may not have been voted for in the first edition to be patient, assuring that they could also be rewarded in subsequent editions.