Ex-Super Eagles Coach, Bonfrere Jo, gets house gift from Nigerian govt after 22 years

Bonfrere Jo with the 1996 Olympic Dream Team
Bonfrere Jo with the 1996 Olympic Dream Team

Sportsmen across the country have a catalogue of unfulfilled promises made to them at various times by different governments and sometimes private organisations and individuals.

Thankfully, one of such promises made 22 years ago to former Super Eagles coach, Bonfrere Jo, has finally be fulfilled.

As reported by the Punch Newspapers, Bonfrere Jo was on Tuesday handed the keys to a three-bedroom apartment in Gwagwalada, Abuja 22 years after the Federal Government made the promise to the Dutchman.

He was promised a house after leading the national U23 team to win the gold medal in the men’s football event at the Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who handed Bonfrere the keys during a brief ceremony in Abuja, said he is hopeful that reward though coming late would inspire the Eagles at the 2018 World Cup competition in Russia.

Mr Fashola said, “Let me on behalf of the President apologise to you that it has taken so long for the Nigerian government to come through. We thank you for your contribution to the development of our country, our youth, football and to say that it is better late than never. Nigeria always come through, we have come through for you.

“It is proper that with just few days to another World Cup, Nigeria fulfils and redeems this pledge and I hope that this will serve as an inspiration to our players going to the World Cup and the officials that this government will be there for you all the way.

“Ordinarily, this ought to be a short meeting but if it take 24 years for the government of the country to respond to its citizens, it must assume a news making event. This is consistent with the commitment that the President has made that once again, he will make Nigerians proud of their country. This country should always be there to respond to the needs and expectations of the citizens.”

The 71-year-old expressed gratitude to the federal government and stated that the gesture would encourage sportsmen and women to work hard, knowing that their achievements would not go unrecognised.

“As a coach that was directly involved in the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and the 1996 Olympic football gold medal victories, I crave for an impressive performance for our Super Eagles in Russia and offer my support to the team and technical staff,” he said.

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Tunde Eludini is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria where he studied International Relations. He is a Senior Correspondent coordinating the sports section for PREMIUM TIMES. Twitter@tundeyeludini


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