The Cross River Gov. Sen. Bassey Edet Otu, has taken steps to rehabilitate neglected Olympian, Etim “Ironbar” Bassey, by giving him immediate employment.
Bassey has been employed in the state’s Sport Commission, according to Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.
In a statement mailed to Persecondnews on Wednesday, he described the move by the governor as a break from the norm.
For many ex-internationals, It has been successive tales of woe involving one ex-international or the other, while some of them have died in abject squalor.
Those who are still lucky to be alive either live in obscurity or are forgotten, only remembered as part of the ‘relics’ of our sporting history.
Ironbar, was part of the 32 men contingent to the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, where Nigeria won just 2 medals, tore a muscle and his participation at the games was cut short.
Aftermath of the Olympics, Ironbar, turned to filling potholes, directing traffic and generally keeping maintenance of roads around Ajah area in Lagos until the intervention of the state government.
The governor touched by the story of the 1982 Commonwealth bronze medalist said: “I am touched by the situation you (Ironbar) found yourself and it is the right thing to bring you back home and get you something to do.
“What matters now is the legacy you have created. So, forget all that you have gone through and look to the future and this administration is here to see you back and to contribute to sports development in our state.
“We will rehabilitate you. You are to see the Commissioner of Sports for immediate employment where you find fit so that you can be meaningfully engaged. I wish you the best,” Persecondnews quotes Otu as saying.