Gov. 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 Paralympics.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bello died as a result of the injuries he sustained in an auto crash between Oyo and Ogbomoso on Wednesday.
Until his death, Bello was the coach of Kwara Badminton Association and Africa’s representative on the board of the World Para-badminton Federation.
He was due in Spain in May for the last round of the qualifications for Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“This is a huge loss to, not just the Para-badminton community in Nigeria, but to 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 who left his footprints in the sand of time.
“I, therefore, commiserate with his immediate family, including his pregnant wife and the entire sporting community in Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole.
“We will miss him a great deal. I pray the Almighty God to console the family he left behind and grant his soul eternal rest.” the governor said.