By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Former Super Eagles coach, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde and Nigeriaâ€™s golf icon, Peter Akakasiaka were among the outstanding personalities honoured for sporting excellence at the maiden IMEGA Award in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The awards were the climax of Ibadan Mesiogo Open golf championship that witnessded a large turnout of international golfers.
Onigbinde famously guided the Super Eagles to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 1984, where they lost 3-1 to Cameroon. He is also the first indigenous coach to lead Nigeria to the FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan 2002. The Septuagenarian, a former member of FIFA Technical Committee, bagged the IMEGA Sports Achievers 2017 Award.
Also, Akakasiaka was named IMEGA Nigeria Golf Legend. Akakasiaka remains the only Nigerian to feature in the final round of the Open Golf Championship. He only missed the final 36-hole cut by two strokes at the 1984 tournament held in Liverpool.
Many sportsmen and women were in the category of those honoured in the sports achievers list. Some of them include former Shooting Stars of Ibadan and Abiola Babes of Abeokuta midfield maestro, the Late Mudashiru Lawal.
Astute football administrator, Late Chief Lekan Salami, Late boxer Dele Jonathan, Dauda Ladipo, Korede Adeniji, Mumini Babalola, Sarah Adegoke, Ajibade Quadri, Valerie Oloyede, former basketball national team captain, Olumide Oyedeji, table tennis stars, Waheed Ekun and Aruna Quadri were in the list that also had late Best Ogedegbe, Emmanuel Ochai, Tunde Odedokun, Tunde Omisore and Prof. Jide Bademosi, the former captain of Nigeria Cricket team.
Other awardees include: Power lifting world record holder and Olympic Gold medallist, Yakubu Adesokan, Late Chief Omowale Kuye, (IMEGA Heroes Award), Chief Michael Ade-Ojo (IMEGA Legacy Award) and IBB Golf Club, Abuja (Best Golf Course in Nigeria).
One of Nigeriaâ€™s foremost statemen, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was posthumously given the IMEGA Lifetime Award in recognition of the construction of Liberty Stadium, when he was the first Premier of Western Nigeria.