… Sanwo-Olu fetes Edo 2020 athletes with N146m
A former military administrator of Lagos State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola has denied claims that he promised Chioma Ajunwa-Opara, 1996 Olympic gold medalist, a house gift.
Ajunwa became Nigeria’s only individual Olympic gold medalist and the first black African woman to win a gold medal in a field event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
According to media reports, the former Osun State governor had promised her a house for winning the gold medal in the long jump category.
The reports circulated the internet on Thursday after Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos state governor, handed over a three-bedroom apartment to the assistant commissioner of police in “fulfillment of Oyinlola’s promise to the athletes.”
The Governor presented keys to a three-bedroom apartment in Babatunde Raji Fashola Housing Estate in Iponri to Ajunwa-Oparah, who is now an Assistant Commissioner of Police in Lagos Police Command.
Sanwo-Olu made the presentation at a reception held for Lagos State’s athletes who participated in the recently concluded National Sports Festival in Edo State.
The Governor, at the event, also presented cheques to the medal winners, some of whom are going to represent the nation in the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.
But in a statement on Friday, the former governor of Osun state said what he promised Ajunwa and the other Olympic medalists twenty-five years ago were plots of land.
“I hosted the Nigerian contingent to the 1996 Olympic games at the National Stadium, Lagos on Saturday August 10, 1996. At the event, I announced the donation, by the Lagos State Government, of one plot of land in Lekki to each of Chioma Ajunwa, Falilat Ogunkoya, Mary Onyali, Duncan Dokiwari, Fatima Yusuf, Charity Opara and 18 members of the Under-23 soccer team,” the statement read.
“I announced the gifts publicly and it was carried by all newspapers, radio and television stations in the country. Indeed, it was the front page lead report of The Guardian of August 11, 1996. I made it clear that the 24 plots of land were complete with all the titles. Did Ajunwa get that plot of land? How about the others?
“For two members of the gold-winning Under-23 football team who hailed from Lagos State, Joseph Dosu and Teslim Fatusi, I announced that the state would build for each of them a 2-Bedroom apartment in any place of their choice.
“I also announced a gift of N2 million for sharing by the officials and all other members of the contingent who could not win a medal.”
Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu rewarded the Lagos representatives at the National Sports Festival with N146 million. Also, the Governor presented cheques ranging from N300,000 to N5 million to winners of medals in the contest. Lagos won 125 medals, including 32 gold and 27 silver medals in the contest.
Ahmed Koleosho, a para table tennis player and Lagos team captain, received a cheque of N2.5 million from the Governor as prize for his feat. He will also be representing Nigeria at the Tokyo Olympic Games.