AMOS ADAMU,others pay tribute to ADEJUMO
Published: June 16, 2010
AMOS ADAMU,others pay tribute to ADEJUMONigerian sports administrators have described the death of Alhaji Raheem Adejumo, a former President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), as a great loss to Nigerian sports.

Adejumo died at the age of 89 in London on Tuesday and will be buried on Thursday in the UK according to Islamic rites.

Dr Amos Adamu, a FIFA Executive Member, expressed shock at his death, saying he would long be remembered for his contributions to sports development in Nigeria.

Adamu spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Johannesburg where he is attending the ongoing World Cup in South Africa.

Adamu, a former director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), said Adejumo contributed immensely to the development of tennis.

“Adejumo, as President of the NOC, was instrumental to the autonomy of the body during his tenure as head of the organisation,’’ he said.

NOC President Habu Gumel told NAN in Lagos that Adejumo’s death was a great loss to the Nigeria Olympic family.

“We have lost a great man; his contribution to Nigerian sports is unequalled; he was an individual that had done so much in sports development.

“He made his personal resources available for the development of sports in this country, especially the Olympic movement and tennis,’’ Gumel said.

Elias Gora, who served as the Secretary-General of NOC under Adejumo, said Nigeria and indeed Africa had lost an illustrious son who had served the country and the continent well.

“Adejumo was an individual whose contribution to sports development was incomparable; he single-handedly built sports facilities that no other person has done before and after him.

“His contribution to the development of tennis and on the continent is a living testimony to his philanthropic nature.

“He spent so much for the discovery of tennis stars and put in place programmes for their exposure through sponsorship of competitions and attendance of international tournaments,’’ Gora said.

“Adejumo was an individual I can describe as upright, fair and honest in all his handling of sports matter in this country.

“He was prudent and accountable in handling of public funds during his tenure as the president of NOC and the tennis association.

“He will be remembered for his honesty and as an individual that made his personal resources available for the promotion of sports in Nigeria,’’ Gora said.

NOC Secretary-General Banji Oladapo said that a condolence register had been opened at the organisation’s secretariat at the National Stadium, Lagos.

“He improved the image of the NOC through his determination and drive for fund raising.

“He will be remembered for his incorporation of Nigeria Olympic Committee in 1993,’’ Oladapo said

Muyiwa Daniel, the Sports Editor of the defunct National Concord Newspapers, said Adejumo should be celebrated even in death.

“Adejumo should be celebrated by all Nigerians for his outstanding contribution to sports development in the country.

“He took tennis from zero level to a height it is in the country such that Nigeria dominated the sport continent for 15 years,’’ Daniel said.

He recalled that it was during Adejumo’s time as the president of tennis association that Nduka Odizor, David Imonite and Sadiq Abdullahi dominated tennis in Africa.

“It was during Adejumo’s time that Nigeria recorded her greatest achievements in major competitions such as the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and All Africa Games.

“Under his leadership at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, Nigeria won two gold medals in long jump and football.

“The leadership qualities of Adejumo saw good welfare packages for athletes,’’ Daniel added.

Adejumo was a member of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and was appointed chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the NOC from 1988 to 1991 and became the substantive president in 1992.

Under Adejumo, the NOC acquired 6.8 hectares of land where the NOC erected an OlympAfrica Centre at Amuwo Odofin, a suburb of Lagos.

He was conferred with the national honour of the Commander of the Order of Niger (CON) by the Federal Government.
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