Grace Uzodinma Edenwonovo
It was a gathering of the very best collection of Nigerian sports legends last Friday night at the Eko Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos.
The expansive and exquisitely decorated hall was practically draping and brimming with renowned names that dominate Nigerian sports folklore. The roll call of stars that gathered in the hall included Christian Chukwu, who was the captain of the 1980 African Cup of Nations-winning Green Eagles squad. That was Nigeria’s first AFCON title for Nigeria. The Super Eagles have since won the trophy two more times, in Tunisia 1994 and in South Africa in 2013.
That 1980 triumph, which came at the expense of a star-studded Algerian team at a packed National stadium in Surulere, Lagos, was achieved through collective efforts of stars like striker Segun Odegbami, goalkeeper Emmanuel Okala, Sylvanus Okpala, late Muda Lawal, Henry Nwosu, David Adiele, Felix Owolabi, Adokiye Amiesimaka, Charles Bassey, Kadiri Ikhana, Ifeanyi Onyedika, Frank Onwuach and Shefiu Mohammed, among others.
Some of these respected names were at Eko Hotel, where their efforts were celebrated and rewarded.
The dignified assembly of stars was in the house for the Air Peace Sports Diplomacy Wall of Fame, initiated by the founder and chairman of Air Peace Airlines, Allen Onyeama. It was done in collaboration with the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs.