Reporting Sports in a refreshing style

24 Years After, Bonfere gets three-bedroom apartment 

Former Sports minister Jim Nwobodo took Bonfere's Olympic medal

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola on Tuesday said the donation of Three-
bedroom apartment to the former Super Eagles Assistant Coach during Tunisia 1994 African Cup of
Nations, Mr. Johannes Bonfrere will inspire Super Eagles at the forthcoming World Cup.

 

Fashola, during the short meeting prior to the handing over of the apartment keys, at the ministry in
Abuja said the donation and the change mantra actually implied that a 24-year problem can be solved.

He apologised to Bonfrere for the 24 years delay stressing that the former Super Eagles coach did not
get an allocation or legal document.

“Let me on behalf of the President apologise to you that it has taken so long for the Nigerian
government to come through. We thank you for your contributions to the development of our country, our
youth, football and to say that it is better late than never. Nigeria always come through, we have come
through for you.

“It is proper that with just few days to another world cup, Nigeria fulfills and redeems this pledge
and i hope that this will serve as an inspiration to our players going to the world cup and the
officials that this government will be there for you all the way.

“Ordinarily, this ought to be a short meeting but if it take 24 years for the government of the country
to respond to its citizens, it must assume a news making event but this is consistent with the
commitment that the President has made that once again, he will make Nigerians proud of their country,
this country should always be there to respond to needs and expectation of the citizens,” he said.

The minister, who expressed dissatisfaction on failure of past administration said the kind gesture is
better late than never.

He traced the poor attitude to 38 years ago when ex- Nigerian players were promised homes at Festac
town in Lagos State but could not get the legal land titles until 2017.

He described the players including Best Ogedengbe, Emmanuel Okala, Martins Eyo as competent ‘Green
Eagles’ who became Super Eagles and should be well honoured.

“The matter does not go back to 24 years. It actually go back to 38 years and i will tell you why. I’m
sure that we are familiar with names like Emmanuel Okala, Martins Eyo, Tunde Bamidele, Kadiri Ikana,
John Orlando, Best Ogedengbe, Late Mudashiru Lawal and Segun Odegbami. Those were the green eagles, who
became Super Eagles after winning the first nation’s cup for Nigeria.

“They were promised houses in Festac and other parts. In their case, they received their allocations
but they didn’t have any document until April 2017, 38 years after that they finally got letters of
allocation during Buhari administration. What it simply shows is that President Buhari is committed to
solving any problem no matter how old,” Fashola added.

He told Bonfrere of the National Housing Programme currently ongoing in 34 states across the federation
meant to reduce housing deficit and commended the former coach for his endurance.

In his remarks, he stated that the gesture will encourage sport men and women to to aspire
extraordinary accomplishments knowing that their achievement will not go unrecognised.

He applauded the federal government for fulfilling its promise and wished the super eagles excellent
performance in the forthcoming world cup competition.

“As a coach that was directly involved in the 1994 African Cup of Nations and 1996 Olympic soccer gold
medal victories, i crave for an impressive performance of our super eagles in Russia and offer my
support to the team and technical staff,” he said.

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