The Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) has described the death of its patron, Senator Uche Chukwumerije as a big loss to the sport in Nigeria.
George Ashiru, president of the federation highlighted the immense contribution of the lawmaker, which he said has helped to popularize the sport.
“The Nigeria Taekwondo Federation regretfully announces the passing away of Senator Uche Chukwumerije, a founding father and patron of the Federation. Senator Chukwumerije was a 5th Degree black belt, issued in Korea, and spawned a family of 8 black belts many of whom were national and international champions. These include the late Kwame Chukwumerije, who at 15, in 1987 was considered good enough to be invited to the national team for the world championships. His other sons Uche and Chika have both been African Games champions and Chika has gone on to do the country even more proud picking a Bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games.
He added: “Late Senator Chukwumerije, was a former President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Black Belt College, and was part of the team of leaders who agitated for the official recognition of Taekwondo by the National Sports Commission in 1987. He singlehandedly sponsored the 2007 Nigerian Team to the 2007 Olympic Qualification Tournament, amongst many others. He also singlehandedly hosted and rewarded the 2011 African Games team at a gala event in Abuja.
“He is famous for his political leadership as part of the National Assembly’s “Integrity Group”, while serving as a 4 term Senator. He was also a former Minister of Information in the 1990s. On behalf of the entire Taekwondo community, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the Chukwumerije family, and may the soul of late Senator Uche Chukwumerije rest in peace,” Ashiru said.