Nigerian ex-Olympians are battling to save ailing Jeremiah Okorodudu, a member of the country’s continent to the Los Angeles ’84 Olympics Games, where he competed in the middleweight category.
Okorodudu, a gold medalist at Oluyole ’79 National Sports Festival in Ibadan, has been down with stroke.
Things became so bad for Jerry last year. He was living from hand to mouth with no hope of assistance coming from any quarter.
In August 2020, Okorodudu was rushed to a hospital along Ikorodu area of Lagos, following a boil that prevented him from walking or standing. He had a successful surgery, but was stuck at the hospital for not being able to foot his medical bills.
The Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, and other Nigerians came to the rescue following prompting from media organisations, including The Guardian. He was discharged after spending three days.
But ‘Jerry’ has suffered a relapse once again, and his former colleagues in the boxing circuit are now battling to rescue him.
The umbrella body of former boxers in Nigeria, Association of Nigeria ex-Boxing Internationals, heeded the call and contributed money for his recovery.
They have raised N1million for his treatment and sustenance.
Speaking from his base in Miami, USA, retired Nigerian middleweight boxer, Albert Eromosele, said that the Association of Nigeria ex-boxing professionals is concerned about the welfare of Okorodudu, and is ready to take charge of his wellbeing.
Eromosele, who is the President of Elite Fitness, said: “One of our colleagues, Friday Ahunanya, told me about the plight of Jerry Okorodudu, and as the president of the Nigeria ex-boxers, I placed a call to most of our former colleagues everywhere for support and we have raised almost N1million for his treatment. We will present the money to him soon because we don’t want something bad to happen to him. We don’t want to start looking for money for burial,” a disturbed Eromosele stated.
Eromosele continued: “After you represent Nigeria, you are abandoned and this is a classic case.
I just have to say a big thank you to fellow ex-boxers like Friday Ahunanya, Rasmos Ojemaye, Enahoro Albert, Solomon Egberime, Franklyn Egobi, Ideh Ochuko, Egburu and Sunkanmi for their contribution, and we want Okorodudu to know we are behind him. We support him 100 per cent, and we looking forward to having him back on his feet.”
It will be recalled that Friday Felix, a former Nigerian amateur boxer and member of the nation’s contingent to Harare ’95 All African Games, got the sum of N300,000 from the same Association to take care of his medical bills last year.
Felix, who won bronze at the 1995 African Games in Harare, Zimbabwe, had been down with stroke for a year before help came from the Albert Eromosele-led Association of ex-Nigeria boxers.