Gov. Babajide 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.
Sanwo-Olu, who announced this at Lagos House, Alausa, said the donation was to fulfill a 25-year pledge of then Government.
Chioma Ajunwa-Oparah, a long jump athlete, now an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in the Nigeria Police Force, put Nigeria on the global radar after she won a gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
She was promised a house by the then military government but the pledge was not fulfilled before the country returned to democracy in 1999.
Sanwo-Olu also presented cheques to the medal winners, some of whom would be going to represent Nigeria in the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.
Presenting the apartment’s key to Ajunwa-Opara, Sanwo-Olu said that the feat achieved by athletes helped redeem the country’s image and raised the hope of young people seeking to improve their sporting skills.
”When Dr Chioma Ajunwa-Oparah represented the country in the 1996 Olympic Games, some promises were made and very typical of us as a people, we forget.
”I have met and kept the promises of my predecessors in ensuring that our athletes get what they deserve.
”The promise of a befitting shelter to Chioma Ajunwa-Oparah could have been delayed for 25 years, but today she will be a proud owner of a three-bedroom apartment in the famous Babatunde Raji Fashola Estate in Iponri.
”She has remained a good reference point for sport, journalism and everything that relates to sport in our country. She is a true demonstration of can-do spirit, which reflects her decision to serve the country as a police officer after attaining a coveted position on an international sporting platform.
“We will continue to use her as a testimony to give women strong voice and good representation in our sport organisations.
“We have made it compulsory to reserve 30 per cent of positions to our women in boards of sport organisations in Lagos,” he said.
Earlier, Ajunwa-Oparah decorated the governor with a replica of her 1996 gold medal.
She described the gesture as a ”motivation” to fulfil her dream in raising a new generation of athletes, adding that the governor’s action had further reinforced her belief in the country.
Presenting cheques to the successful Lagos athletes, Sanwo-Olu urged them not to rest on their oars in excelling and achieving greater feats in the Tokyo Olympics.
The governor said that there would be a new beginning for sports in Lagos, as the amended Sport Commission Law, which he signed earlier in the day, was initiated to promote sporting activities at the grassroots.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that he had given an approval for the upgrade of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere to make it a standard sport centre.
He added that the state government was set to commence the concurrent construction of eight new mini-stadia across the state, to further improve youth participation in sports.
”We have just signed an amendment on Sport Commission Bill into Law after the House of Assembly adjusted the law for us.
”With the new law, we will have more robust grassroots sport competitions and it will take sport to a granular level where we will have a lot more participation and infrastructure development at the grassroots level.
”Our youths have brighter days ahead and I enjoin them not to give up on their skills. There is a reward for hard work, but sometimes the reward may be delayed. You should not be discouraged because people are watching. At the right time, God will come through for you,” Sanwo-Olu said.
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