The Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, and the staff of the National Sports Commission honoured the outgoing Director-General of the commission, Dr. Patrick Ekeji, on Thursday with a send-forth party.
The ceremony, which took place at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Ilorin, Kwara State, was very colourful and well attended by major stakeholders in sports, enthusiasts and other invited dignitaries.
In his goodwill message, Abdullahi commended Ekeji for his remarkable contributions to the development of sports in Nigeria, which has made him a focal point in sports administration not just in Nigeria alone but also the world in general.
“Tonight, I am watching the departure of a very strong pillar from the sports arena… you are a true icon of Nigeria sports, an Institute and research centre in sporting affairs,” he added.
In his response, Ekeji thanked the NSC for the event, which he described as one of the very memorable occasions in his life.
He assured the minister of his ever ready assistance whenever he is called up.
The high points of the occasion were the reading of Ekeji’s citation by the Director of Grassroots Development, Yakmut Al-Hassan; presentation of various commendation plaques and awards for his immense contribution to the growth of sports in Africa; as well as good-will messages from prominent stakeholders in the sporting community such as the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee and former Minister of Sports, Engineer Sani Ndanusa, International Olympic Committee executive member, Engineer Habu Gumel, Directors at the NSC and presidents of various national sports federations.
The event was one of the hallmarks of the activities marking the 19th edition of the National Council on Sports meeting holding in Ilorin, Kwara State.