July 04, (THEWILL) – Chioma Ajunwa-Opara, the first African woman to win an Olympic gold medal in a field event, is elated to have received a state honour 25 years after making her country proud. The former athlete who won a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games held in Atlanta, USA, received the key to a three-bedroom flat from Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu, a week ago.
The newest landlord in town simply could not hide her surprise and joy at being rewarded more than two decades after her feat. She thanked the Lagos State Government profusely for the gift and the recognition accorded her through the gesture.
THEWILL gathered that the move by the state government encouraged other Nigerians to remember Chioma’s laudable feat and to send their gifts and support to the police officer. The apartment was the fulfillment of a promise made by the then Military Administrator of Lagos State, Colonel Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
However, Oyinlola, who is also a former governor of Osun State, has made it clear that what he promised Ajunwa and other athletes 25 years ago were parcels of land, while two other gold medallists, Teslim Fatusi and Joseph Dosu of the Under- 23 football team who hailed from Lagos State were to get newly built two-bedroom flats each in any of place of their choice in Lagos.
He also stated that he promised a gift of N2 million to be shared among the officials and other members of the contingent who could not win a medal. Chioma Ajuwa-Opara who participated at the Olympics, did so as an officer of the Nigeria Police. She is currently an Assistant Commissioner of Police at the Police Service Commission.