…Dare, Ugboaja also among recipients
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday conferred national honours on 340 Nigerians including Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen, former Eagles Captain Jay Jay Okocha and ex-President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick.
Also honoured were Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare and Nigeria basketball international Ejike Ugboaja.
While Dare was conferred with the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) honour, Pinnick and Okocha got the Officer of the Order of the Niger while Osimhen and Ugboaja were named in the Member of the Federal Republic category.
Osimhen has been in spectacular form for Napoli this season, helping them win the Italian Serie A for the first time in over 30 years.
He also broke George Weah’s record as the highest scoring African in the Serie A, going on to hit the 30 goal mark in the season, as he presently tops the Serie A goals log with 25 league goals.
The Napoli striker in a tweet on Sunday, expressed his delight at being so honoured by the country.
“Today, I feel so blessed and grateful as I announce that I have been awarded the prestigious Member of the order of the Federal Republic (MFR) award by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Today also marked my 100th game for Napoli and I was fortunate to score 2 goals for my club, it is an amazing moment and feeling for me to be able to achieve this feat for this great club.
“This MFR recognition also means a lot to me, as it symbolizes the appreciation and support of the great Nigerian people for the dedication and hard work they have always put into their individual career to make Nigeria Proud.
“My deepest gratitude goes to the Federal Republic of Nigeria for recognising me at such a national level, and I am so humbled and grateful. I am proud to be a Nigerian and represent Her.
“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for their continuous efforts in promoting and developing sports in our country. Their support has contributed to the growth of myself and every other athletes in the country.
“To my amazing family, who have been my rock and source of inspiration throughout my journey, I am forever indebted to your love and support. I love you all and this award is as much yours as it is mine.
“And to my fans and supporters, both in Nigeria and around the world, you all are super amazing and I am so grateful for all you do for me. Your constant support, well wishes and cheers have uplifted me in moments of triumph and provided solace during challenging times.
“I am immensely honored to achieve this feat for Napoli and I’m also honored to receive this MFR award, and I consider it a responsibility to continue striving for excellence, more records and making meaningful contributions to people’s live with the sport I love,” he wrote on Twitter.