President Goodluck Jonathan’s bid for a second term in office got a big boost on Saturday when sportsmen and women from various disciplines threw their support behind him in Lagos.
The event, which took place at the National Stadium, Surulere, had Olympic gold medalists Chioma Ajunwa and Enefiok Udo-Obong and Commonwealth bronze medalist Otonye Iworima in attendance.
Other top Nigerian stars at the event include ex-boxers Obisia Nwankpa and Jerry Okorodudu; national powerlifting coach, Are Feyisetan and others.
Olympian Henry Amike, national coordinator, Sports People for Jonathan, said Jonathan had demonstrated a unique understanding for sports development in Nigeria, thus transforming the sector in his first tenure as President.
“We are confident that a second term for the President will guarantee even greater transformation and progress in Nigerian sports,” the sprinter, who represented Nigeria at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, said.
The Director-General, National Institute for Sports, Dr. Isaac Ikhioya, who represented the Sports Minister, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, on the occasion, said Nigeria had witnessed positive fortunes under Jonathan, citing the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, where Nigeria won 36 medals, as an example.
Several athletes spoke of their memorable experiences under the President and endorsed him for a next term in office.
Amike also used the occasion to do a media presentation of a compilation of president Jonathan’s achievements in sports entitled ‘Goodluck Jonathan: A New Dawn in Nigerian Sports’.
Nwankpa, who is a former Commonwealth lightweight champion and one-time challenger for World Boxing Council light welterweight title, summarizes President Jonathan’s contributions in sports development in these word: “Jonathan has encouraged us; for the first time in a very long time athletes’ allowances were paid timely and everybody was happy because they felt their efforts were appreciated.
That aside we have seen a new thrust in athletes’ welfare and wish this would continue. We want continuity in policy implementation given that we are happy with what we have seen of Jonathan so far.”