Nigeria Taekwondo at 30: Obasanjo, Dalung, Wushishi, others bag awards

Jordan's Mohammad Aabulibdeh fights Nigeria's Isah Muhammad (in red) during their match in men's 68-kg taekwondo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics
Jordan’s Mohammad Abulibdeh fights Nigeria’s Isah Muhammad (in red) during their match in men’s 68-kg taekwondo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics

President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, Grand Master George Ashiru, has revealed that the 2016 edition of the annual Korean Ambassador’s Taekwondo championship will be used to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the federation in Nigeria.

The event taking place at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun stadium and sponsored by the Korean Cultural centre ‘with their other chosen partners’ is geared towards enhancing sports development and bilateral relations.

 It will have eminent Nigerians including a former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, a former Chief of Army staff, Lt. General Inuwa Wushishi (rtd) amongst others bagging awards for their immense contributions to the federation.

In his words, Ashiru said, “it is noteworthy that this is the 30th year of establishing the Taekwondo federation in Nigeria. It was formed in 1986 and inaugurated in 1987.”

We are giving out awards in recognition of the people who have in one way or the other supported the Nigerian Taekwondo Federation tactically, politically and materially.

Explaining why these Nigerians will be honoured during the competition holding between the 8th and 10th of December, Ashiru said they have contributed in no small way to uplift the sport in Nigeria.

Nigeria Taekwondo athletes in 30 years of the sport
Nigeria Taekwondo athletes in training…now 30 years of the sport

“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo incepted the training of taekwondo in the National Library. He personally supports, visits and enrolled his grand children. Considering his support for various areas of sports in Nigeria, I think the federation will like to appreciate him”.

On the choice of Barrister Solomon Dalung as one of the notable recipients, the former National champion told journalists that the Minister of Sports for the second time in a row will be physically present at the event and deserves special recognition.

“Supporting us as we are preparing for the Olympics trials and standing with our federation during the good times and the trying times. We think, he is the head and father of sports at this juncture in Nigerian history. We will like to honour him.”

Ashiru explained further that writing the history of the sports and the federation will never be complete without the mention of Inuwa Wushishi who used his good office as the Chief of Army Staff to propagate the gospel of the sports in the Nigerian Army.

“We will like to honour the gentleman who signed the bilateral agreement that brought in the first set of Korean instructors officially to Nigeria when he was the Chief of Army Staff. “

According to Ashiru, one of the two instructors brought in by Wushishi later became the first national coach who took the pioneer national team to the All Africa Games in 1987 which he was part of.

“We think it’s time, 30 years after, for the federation to remember the good work this man did to have started taekwondo in the Nigerian Army which the Army is now benefiting from.”

He concluded that all recipients have confirmed their presence after they were contacted.


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