The late Rashidi Yekini and two-time heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua are set to receive national honours from the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the State House in Abuja on October 11.
Yekini who died 10 years ago after a protracted illness on May 5 2012 in his native Kwara State will be awarded with a posthumous Member of the Order of the Niger award.
The prolific striker scored Nigeria’s first-ever goal at the World Cup, against Bulgaria at USA ‘94, and led the way as they won the Africa Cup of Nations in the same year. He is Nigeria’s top international scorer, with 37 goals from 58 games.
Also, two-time heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua whose father hails from Sagamu in Ogun State, will be awarded the Officer of The Federal Republic.
In September, Buhari had earlier conferred different national honours on athletes that won medals at the World Athletics Championships in the USA and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK.
World 100m hurdles champion and record holder, Tobi Amusan, silver medallist in the long jump event at the World Championships Ese Brume, Olympics wrestling silver medallist Blessing Oborodudu and gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games powerlifting event and world record holder Folashade Oluwafemiayo were awarded the Officer of The Order of The Niger.
Others who all got the honour were Odunayo Adekuroye, Taiwo Liadi, Ikechukwu Obichukwu, Bose Omolayo, Favour Ofili, Nasiru Sule, Ifechukwude Ikpeoyi, Ebikewenimo Welson, Hannah Rueben and Elizabeth Oshoba.
In 2018, Joshua was awarded the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the then Prince Charles, after retaining his WBA, IBF and WBO titles.