By Olayinka Owolewa
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara on Thursday described the sudden death of Africa’s number one para-badminton player Abdulrafiu Bello as devastating and painful.
The governor, in a statement by his chief press secretary, Malam Rafiu Ajakaye, said the incident represented a huge setback for the Nigerian and African contingents ahead of the upcoming Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Until his death, Bello was the coach of the Kwara Badminton Association and the representative of Africa on the board of directors of the World Para-badminton Federation.
He was due to travel to Spain in May for the final round of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“This is a huge loss, not only for the para-badminton community in Nigeria, but for the entire sports community across Africa.
“Bello was one of the best para-badminton players of all time. His death is truly tragic. The government deeply mourns this great talent which has left its mark in the sand of time.
“Therefore, I sympathize with his immediate family, including his pregnant wife and the entire sports community in Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole.
“He will be sorely missed. I pray to Almighty God to console the family he left behind and to grant his soul eternal rest. said the governor.
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