By Sedara Oluwadara
Former Team Nigeria Captain, Olumide Oyedeji (OLY) has been returned as the President of the Nigerian Olympians Association at its Elective Congress held in the Ondo State capital- Akure.
According to the statement, the election of the new executive to be led by the former NBA star has been described by the congress as a milestone to herald the continued strengthening of the Olympics family in Nigeria.
The statement also said that the post of the first Vice President went to Lawrence Iquaibom, who competed at the 1984 and ’86 Olympics.
Retired quarter-miler and Queen of the track, Falilat Ogunkoya, emerged as the second Vice President.A member of the 1996 gold medal Dream Team, Emmanuel Babayaro, got elected as the General Secretary while Ekuta Catherine Ewa, who competed at the 2004 Athens Olympics, was voted as the Assistant secretary.
In the same vein, the post of Treasurer was won by Emmanuel Oshomor.
Other elected members included Mary Mpolulu Nwachukwu who was a member of the Team Nigeria handball team to Barcelona ’92 Olympics as the Financial Secretary.
Former national judo champion, Suleiman Edibo Musa, was elected publicity secretary while Juliana Negedu Akhare was elected as welfare Officer for the 2022 to 2026 term of office.
The oath of office was administered by Barr Victoria Nlenugbo who was also the electoral chairperson.
The certificates of return were presented by the representative of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Kemi Ogundahunsi.
Addressing the congress, Oyedeji appreciated all members for the confidence reposed in the new members of the executive which resonated through their votes.
He promised to run an open and all inclusive administration that would better the lots of all Nigerian Olympians.
“To walk fast, you can walk alone but if you want to walk far, you have to walk with people.
This is the dawn of another era where we have another opportunity to build on things done in the past.
I call on all Olympians home and abroad to join hands to ensure that the efforts of our heroes are not forgotten.
”Meanwhile, the Ondo State Commissioner for sports, Ologun Oke who was the Chief Host, thanked the Olympians for their service to their fatherland.
He said Nigerians would forever be indebted to them through their exploits in sports that brought joy on the faces of Nigerians.
He also said that he would make sure the country was discussed in good light amongst the comity of nations.