Today President Muhammadu Buhari fulfilled a promise he made to the 1985 U-16 Golden Eaglets team when they won the U-16 FIFA World Cup in China.
At that time Buhari was Military Head of State and he promised cash rewards to all the members of the team but the promises was not fulfilled until his government was overthrown by the Ibrahim Babangida led coup of August 1985.
President Buhari, while at a presidential reception organised for the athletes and officials who won raurels at sporting competitions at old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja announced that N2 million will be given to each of the players.
President Buhari announced N200 million instead of N2 million.
The president had caused stir when he announced that members of the team will receive N200 million. he whole audience was thrown into jubilation but the Minister of Youths and Sports Mr Solomon Dalong cleared the air when he mounted the podium ad said they will get N2 million each.
One of the members of the team Kingsley Aikhionbore died after waiting for the promises to be fulfiled. The promises made by General Buhari in 1985 included stocks in Central Bank of Nigeria, streets renamed in honour of the players and scholarships for the players.
President Buhari also rewarded the Golden Eaglets who won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile with N1.2 million each while their Coach received N900 thousand and the Assistant coach got N600 thousand. Other team officials received between N200 thousand and N300 thousand each.
Also, the U-23 AFCON Champions and their coach were rewarded with N500,000 each while Nigeria’s National basketball team, D’tigers who won the 2015 Afro Basket tournament in Tunisia got N600 thousand each with the U16 female basketball team that won silver at the U16 FIBAAFRICA.
Also rewarded were the Athletes at the IPC Asian open (powerlifting). The Gold medalist got N600 thousand, Silver medalist and the coaches received N450 thousand while team Officials received N250 thousand.
The World Scrabble Champion, Wellington Jighere recieved N1.5 million while his coach received N1.2 million. His team security was also rewarded with N450 thousand.