The National Coordinator of Nigeria Para Badminton Federation, Ekeoma Onwukwe Samuel has appealed to Kwara State to immortalize Late Bello Oyebanji who died during the course of representing the state and Nigeria.
Ekeoma made the appeal when he led a group of Para Badminton stakeholders on a condolence visit to the family of Late Oyebanji and Kwara State Government in Ilorin, Kwara state on Wednesday.
He called on the state government to make plans in organizing a national championship in honour of Late Rafiu Bello.
He said, “Oyebanji should be immortalized in Kwara state because of his immense contribution to the development and growth of badminton in the state as well as Nigeria.
“I am calling on the state government led by His Excellency; Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to organize an annual para badminton championship tagged “Late Rafiu Bello Oyebanji National Championship” for the para badminton family and the sports world not to forget Late Oyebanji in a hurry. If the state government can do this for the sports family, we will be eternally grateful.
“We want an event that will always bring us to Kwara state every year in the memory of Bello who fought gallantly and won gallantly”.
Ekeoma stated that Late Bello paid the ultimate prize for his country adding that Oyebanji was on the verge of becoming the first Nigeria Para Badminton player to feature in the Olympic Games.
He said, “Oyebanji paid the price of sports development especially para badminton in Nigeria with his life because he would have still been alive if not for the game.
“He believed in sports and laid down his life. We want to thank the Kwara State Government for the support given to Bello when he was alive and after he lost his life. He made a very serious mark in the sports world; he is a legend and was on the verge of becoming the first Nigeria Para Badminton player to feature in the Olympic Games.
“I am appealing to Kwara State Government to find something spectacular to do in honouring Bello; someone who was produced so many champions in badminton and para badminton; gave his life for the service of the nation”
The Nigeria Para Badminton Federation visited the family of Late Bello Oyebanji, Kwara State Sports Council and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.