The Federal Government on Thursday inducted four outstanding female athletes into the Nigerian Women Hall of Fame.
The Minister of Women Affairs,Mrs Pauline Tallen, disclosed this during the reception in honour of Nigerian female athletes in Abuja.
Those honoured are Tobi Amusan (World Record Holder 12.12 second 100 metres hurdles), Folashade Oluwafemiayo, (Gold medalists Women’s Heavyweight Champion, para powerlifting).
Others are Ese Brume (Olympic World Champion African Champion in Long Jump) and Blessing Oborududu (Olympic Silver medalist, Commonwealth Games Champion in wrestling).
Tallen, while commending the athletes for their outstanding performance during the various international sporting competitions, said the induction was a way to immortalise Nigerian women’s achievements globally.
Also speaking, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, described Nigerian women as exceptional and talented.
“Whatever sphere they find themselves, Nigerian women are very committed, talented, determined and resilient in whatever they do.
“We are very proud of you all and didn’t expect anything less, the sky will be your limit as you continue to make us proud,” she said.
On his part, Mr Sunday Dare, Minister of Youths and Sport, while commending the athletes, said the President had approved a Presidential Award for Competitive Excellency (PACE)
Dare said, “the award was to recognise any athlete that represent Nigeria and achieve a remarkable level in sport.
“About 27 athletes will be the first recipients of the Presidential award to appreciate our great sports men and women,” he said.
He gave the assurance that the country place a lot of value on sports men and women and they would be rewarded and celebrated for showing up for the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Amusan was also conferred with a national honour, the Order of the Niger (OON) honour by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari thanked the athletes for the exciting moments they gave Nigerians during the two competitions.
“I watched with millions of Nigerians those exciting moments when you all brought smiles to us and our homes by breaking world, national and games records, as well as achieving personal best in your careers.
“Your outstanding performances in recent times are consistent with the determination of a nation always yearning for excellent performance. You all, members of Team Nigeria have ignited the spirit for victory in our nation but even more you have been victorious in major sporting championships and games.
“I have followed keenly your achievements at the World Championships in Oregon U.S. and indeed your remarkable performance at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom. And I am very pleased that you displayed at both the personal and group levels great sporting talents and delivered for your country great podium performances.”
Members of the Team Nigeria will pocket N200 million for their efforts at the two championships.
At the 2022 World Athletics Championships that was held in Oregon, USA, she broke the World 100m Hurdles record to become the first Nigerian World Champion.
The 25-year-old athlete also broke the Game Record to win gold in the 100m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games and also the Meeting Record to successfully defend her Diamond League 100m Hurdles title.
Meanwhile, long jumper, Ese Brume, who won silver medal also at the World Athletics Championships and set a Game Record to win gold at the Commonwealth Games, was also conferred with a national honour.
Also conferred with a national honour is Oluwafemiayo.
She set new world records in the Women’s 68 kg category at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and the 2022 Commonwealth Games to win gold at both events. (NAN)