The Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, has expressed his heartfelt condolences on learning of the double tragedies that struck the State’s Ministry of Youth and Sports Development where two of her promising athletes, Aliyu Mohammed(Para Power-lifting) and Maria Raphael(Taekwondo), passed away through motor accidents at separate occasions in Lafia, the State capital.
In a personal message to the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Amb. Lucky Isaac Yargwa, the Governor who was gutted by the ugly incidents, said;
“Oh, my dear God!
“I am sorry to hear about the deaths of our promising athletes, Aliyu Mohammed and Maria Raphael.
“My deepest sympathies and respect go to their immediate families, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, the affected Sports Federations and entire sports world.
“May their souls rest in peace!”
Para power-lifting athlete, Aliyu Mohammed, who represented Team Nasarawa at this year’s Maiden National Para-Sports Festival in Abuja, was knocked down by a vehicle which swerved off its path along Shabu-Lafia express road on Thursday, 18th August, 2022, and has since been buried in Lafia according to Islamic injunctions.
While Taekwondo medalist athlete, Maria Raphael, was crushed by a trailer along UAC road, Lafia, eight days later(26th August) after returning home from Bayelsa State, where she represented Nasarawa State at the Bayelsa Open Taekwondo Championship held in Yenagoa, from 21st-24th August, 2022, winning a Silver medal and helping Nasarawa State to end the championship on 3rd position with seven medals, comprising one Gold, four Silver and two Bronze medals, respectively.
She also won Bronze medal for Team Nasarawa at the 15th edition of the Panamai West African and Cottage Mills Taekwondo Championship held in Lagos, from 10th-15th August, 2022, inspiring the State to a 4th place finish.
Her remains are yet to be laid to mother earth.
The passing of the two athletes at their prime has created a huge vacuum in the Ministry as their impacts brought glory and fame to the State at different sporting championships across the Country.
However, their patriotism and commitment will stand as an epitome to every member of the Ministry to persevere in our quest for sporting progress in the State.