BY JOHN EGBOKHAN
1984 Africa Cup of Nations winner, Paul Okoku has met with the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye over the redemption of the scholarship pledge made by the Federal Government to the 1983 Flying Eagles squad to the FIFA U-20 World Cup I Mexico.
But 30 years down the line, the pledge has yet to be redeemed, a situation that compelled Okoku, who was the vice-captain of the team, to travel from his US base to Nigeria to meet with top officials of the National Sports Commission over the lingering issue.
Speaking on his meeting with the D.G of the NSC, Okoku said “It was a good meeting with Hon. Elegbeleye. The man is a real sportsman. He is a good person and I am hopeful that things will come out well because we played for this country and were promised something but sadly, that pledge is yet to be fulfilled.
“Hon. Elegbeleye told me that he was going to present our case to the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdulahhi and ultimately President Goodluck Jonathan and that for me was enough hope that this government has a listening ear.
Hon. Elegbeleye’s appointment is a good decision by the President and I am sure that our sports will improve with such people around to work with the Sports Minister”, added Okoku, who commended Mary Onyali fo5r facilitating the fruitful meeting with the NSC D.G.
“Onyai is a true ambassador of all athletes. Even thiough she did not know me personally, she gave me all the support to meet with her boss. We are really proud of her and also feel that her appointment by the DiG was a master-stroke. She is representing athletes well”, added the Tesema Cup winner.