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AFRICA’S 1ST PILLAR OF SPORTS, MKO ABIOLA, GETS THE NAMING RIGHTS OF ABUJA NATIONAL STADIUM

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Nigeria’s President Muhammad Buhari has announced the change of the name of the National Stadium, Abuja to MKO Abiola Stadium.

Buhari made this pronouncement during his speech at the Democracy Day celebration on Wednesday at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

June 12 was on Monday officially declared as Democracy Day as a mark of honour to Abiola, the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election.

The Abuja National Stadium…now MKO Abiola Stadium

Abiola was a sports philanthropy extraordinary during his life time, leading to his being conferred with the award, “First Pillar of Sports in Africa” in 1980 and also a recipient of CAF Merit Award in Gold” at the General Assembly in January 1992 in Dakar, Senegal.  

Naming the Abuja stadium after him seems a honour well deserved. He was the chairman of the then Presidential Monitoring Committee that conceptualized the construction of a large-capacity and all-covered sports arena in Abuja in the early 1990s when Nigeria was struggling to host the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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