Home Sports Chukwuemeka Igboanugo: How FG, Nigeria Boxing Federation fail to honour late boxer

Chukwuemeka Igboanugo: How FG, Nigeria Boxing Federation fail to honour late boxer

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The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Nigeria Boxing Federation were conspicuously missing at the final burial rites of late Imo boxer, Chukwuemeka Igboanugo, who died in active service, Wakawaka Sports Extra reports.

Late Igboanugo died during a boxing bout at the 21st National Sports Festival, Asaba 2022 in Delta State and was buried at Ogwa his hometown by the Imo State government on 2nd of February, 2023.

It was gathered that the federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports alongside the Nigeria Boxing Federation failed to honour the late boxer during the final burial rites.

Wakawaka Sports Extra spoke with the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Boxing Federation, NBF, Akinyele Durotoye, who blamed the state chapter of NBF for failing to duly inform them about the arrangement.

Durotoye said despite concerted efforts by the NBF to reach out to the family, they were not carried along but pledged to do something meaningful for the family.

Durotoye said: “I was fully in touch with the Director and Commissioner of Sports, and I told him all our efforts we are making to support the late boxer. Unfortunately, the person that suppose to travel couldn’t go but I also informed both the coach that we will not be there but our spirit is with him.

“He died during the National Sports Festival after the conclusion of the bout and it was discussed at the Director of Sports meeting which is the highest level when it comes to NSF and the report got to the Minister and it was discussed there too.

“If something like that wants to happen they have a platform where the communicate especially it was organised during the festival forum competing. From there it will be faster than us getting to the Ministry even though they informed me unofficially.

“But if the Director has written us officially, we will be informed but because of their platform we felt they were always communicating because everybody knew when it happened from top to the governor of the state. Through that forum everybody should have been informed. It should be all encompassing.

“If they have written me officially to inform the Ministry, the onus would have been on me but the point is I was not called. The issue is not any blame game. We were not there because the person who ought to go couldn’t make it but we were in touch with them and we wrote a condolence letter. He is our boxer and it pained us. We are still making up something to reach out to the family.”

On their part, Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Kola Daniel, blamed the Boxing Federation and the Sports Commission for failing to notify the Ministry on the plans to bury the late boxer.

“It’s the people in question and associations in charge of the festival should be able to write to the Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports. I would minute it. People who are in the hospitals, injured, sick ones, we travel to meet them. If we have a notification, we would have come.”

Meanwhile, the Imo State Director of Sports in the Imo State Sports Commission, Ferdinand Emeana exonerated himself and that of the Sports Commission noting that it’s the duty of the Boxing Federation to notify the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports.

He said: “I sent a message to the Secretary-General of the Boxing Federation and we were talking. He wrote a tribute and that they were contributing to it. The person that will inform the Ministry is through the federation.”

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It might interest you to know that the Imo State government through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development has gone ahead to immortalise him by naming the boxing ring at the Indoor Sports Gym of Dan Anyiam Stadium after him.

The state government went further to fund the burial expenses and also completed the building in his hometown and also released an undisclosed sum of money to the bereaved widow and also to the parents.

Governor Hope Uzodimma went beyond that by extending the welfare package to his children by taking charge of their education and also giving the widow immediate employment at the local government.

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