By Tordue Salem
ABUJA – The House of Representatives yesterday passed a resolution calling on the Executive to name the National Stadium in Lagos after the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential polls.
Chief Abiola died in jail in July 1998 fighting to reclaim his mandate.
The House at its sitting, yesterday, adopted a motion sponsored by Rep. Friday Itulah (PDP/Edo)and 36 others urging the Federal Government to name the National Stadium, Lagos after the late politician.
Earlier, the House had thrown out a similar motion by Rep. Patrick Obahiagbon (PDP/Edo).
In Itulahâ€™s motion, he recalled the several contributions made by the late philanthropist and politician to the growth and development of sports in Nigeria and Africa in general.
According to Itulah, the naming of the National Stadium in Lagos after Chief Abiola would encourage other well-meaning nationals and sports-loving Nigerians to do more for the countryâ€™s development in the sector.
Other supporters of the motion were Reps Gbenga Elegbeleye (PDP/Ondo), Eziuche Ubani (PDP/Abia), Umaru Kurfi (PDP/Katsina), Betty Apiafi (PDP/ Rivers), saying Chief Abiola spent his personal money to finance sport projects across the continent.
However, Mohammed Sani Abdu (ANPP, Bauchi) opposed the motion on the ground that Abiola did not contribute more than others to sports development in the country.
Abdu said the former military governor of the old Mid-Western state, Samuel Ogbemudia, should instead be immortalised having, according to him, contributed more than Abiola to the development of the sports.
He recalled that Ogbemudia, a retired Brigadier-General, introduced the National Sports Festival, floated Bendel Insurance Football Club and encouraged private sector participation in sports.