Lagos – Mr Babatunde Ayeni, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, has urged the Federal Government to handsomely reward the contingent to the ongoing London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Ayeni, Chairman, House Committee on Youth, Sports and Social Development, made the call in Ikeja on Monday in his reaction to the performance of the paralympics athletes at the fiesta.
He said that a befitting honour should be accorded them on return, since they had done the countryproud while it was still reeling from the shame of not winning a medal at the London Olympics.
“The Federal Government should direct the Nigerian Olympics Committee (NOC) and the Federal Ministry of Sports, to put machinery in place to give the disabled athletes national honours.
“National honour should not be restricted only to the able-bodied person: the physically challenged persons, who have contributed in one way or the other to the growth of this nation, should also be rewarded,” he said.
The lawmaker commended Yakubu Adesokan who won gold medal in (48kg) and broke a world record in power lifting in the men’s category, and Ivory Nwokorie who also gave the country another gold in (44kg) women’s event.
Ayeni said that apart from honouring the athletes, the Federal Government should equally reward them financially, because they have been able to achieve what the able-bodied persons were unable to achieve.
Nigeria is currently 10th on the Games medal table with 10 medals, including four gold, five silver and one bronze.
The Paralympics started in 1948 to give sense of belonging and encouragement to the wounded veterans who lost their arms and sustained spinal cord injuries in World War II, to participate in the sporting festival.