by Isi Esene
Coming on the heels of the announcement yesterday of plans by the federal government to confer national awards on several deserving Nigerians including the chairman of Globacom, Mike Adenuga and Tony O. Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holding Group and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, a pro-democracy group, Conscience Nigeria (CN), says the 13 paralypians who triumphed at the just concluded Paralympic Games in London deserve to be given national honours for succeeding against the odds.
According to the group, such honours would help to revive the spirit of dedication and commitment which will spur others to do well in future competitions.
The organization posited that if merit and patriotic national service is considered as the yardstick for giving national honour, the paralypians should be celebrated and their efforts rewarded with befitting honours.
In a press statement by its executive director, Tosin Adeyanju, the group said a befitting reception should be organized for the Nigerian paralympic team and the victorious members adequately compensated.
Adeyanju said, “We are urging President Goodluck Jonathan to organize a befitting reception for the victorious paralympic team for putting smiles on the faces of Nigerians and excelling where others fail.
“They have shown the resilient Nigerian spirit by winning 13 medals which include 6 gold, and make us proud as a nation. This is the time for the country to justify excellent and patriotic service with good rewards.
“The President should use this opportunity to revive the sport sector with reward for good service and excellence. We are urging that they should be given national honours and adequately rewarded for achieving a great fit,” he statement added.
The organization expressed confidence that if the paralypians are given nation honours, it will go a long way to change the perception of the youths in Nigeria and many will work hard to salvage the nation.