The Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Tammy Danagogo, has described the late senator, Uche Chukwumerije, as a pillar of taekwondo in Nigeria as well as “an epitome of statesmanship and sportsmanship.”
Mr. Danagogo said this at the residence of the Chukwumerijes in Abuja where he had gone to pay them a condolence visit on the death of the taekwondo black belt holder.
The NSC Chairman said the Commission saw the late Mr. Chukwumerije as part of the sports family.
“We are particularly touched because, apart from being an expert in taekwondo, he imparted the skills of the sport on his children and other Nigerian athletes,” the sports minister said. “We saw him as one of the pillars of taekwondo in Nigeria,” he said.
Mr. Danagogo said the late senator was an ardent advocate of more funds for sports for the effective administration of the sector.
“We have lost somebody, and it pains us, because we didn’t need to lobby him to fight for more funds to be given to sport,” Mr. Danagogo said.
Responding on behalf of his siblings, including Olympic bronze medalist Chika, the eldest son, Che Chidi, thanked the minister for the visit especially as it was coming from the sports family.
“My dad wanted to see that Africa is united through sports,” Chidi said. “Many people wouldn’t know that my father started as a tennis player, ran the marathon and was involved in swimming and that taekwondo came much later.”
He disclosed that his late father still jogged even after he attained 70 years of age.
“We are glad that during his lifetime, he saw the seed he sowed in taekwondo yielded fruit, when Chika won an Olympic medal,” Chidi said.
“We are inviting all the people who appreciated him and feel the pains of his loss with us to join us in giving him a befitting burial on May 22,” the late Senator’s son said.