By Aidoghie Paulinus
Former Super Eagles Technical Assistant Johannes-Franciscus Bonfrère (Bonfrere Jo) yesterday received a three-bedroom apartment from the Federal Government.
This is even as he said his commitment to the Nigerian football team was one done with a lot of pleasure, dedication and sacrifice.
The three-bedroom apartment delivered to the Dutch football coach was a pledge made to him 24 years ago by the late General Sani Abacha administration.
Receiving the apartment in Abuja, Jo expressed gratitude over the fulfillment of the pledge.
He commended Power, Works and Housing Minister Babatunde Raji Fashola for the effort put into securing the property.
Speaking with journalists at the site of the building situated along the Kuje Road, in Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja, the Dutch coach said the gesture was a big surprise.
The ex-Super Eagles Technical Assistant while responding to remarks by Fashola at the Minister’s Conference room in Mabuchi, Abuja, said: “to fulfill your promise from the federal government after so many years, I know it was not easy for not getting what they have promised and finally, only you, minister, has done it in a good way.”
He also commended Fashola for doing a great job in the Ministry, adding that his performance exceeded expectations.
Asked if he would be moving into the apartment, Jo said he was in Nigeria for two days, adding that he will think and decide on what to do with the house.
Jo said: “We will see in the future because I am just here for two days. As the Minister has given me this house, I have no plan at this moment, but I have to think about it. It is a surprise for me. It is a big surprise.”
In his remarks, Fashola said the promise was made over 24 years ago.
Fashola added that ex-Nigerian soccer stars, whose pledges dated back to 38 years, have also been fulfilled by the Buhari administration.
Fashola said: “I am sure many of us would know names like Emmanuel Okala, Martins Eyo, Tunde Bamidele, Kadiri Ikhana, John Orlando, Best Ogedengbe, late Muda Lawal and Segun Odegbami.
“Those were the Green Eagles who became the Super Eagles after winning the first Nation’s Cup for Nigeria. They were promised houses in FESTAC and other parts. In their own case, they actually received the allocations, but didn’t have any document.
“So it was not until April, 2017, 38 years after that they finally got the letter of allocation during the Buhari’s Administration.”
While presenting the key to the apartment to Jo, Fashola expressed gratitude to the soccer expert for contributing to the development of Nigerian youth, football and Nigeria, noting that fulfilling the pledge was better late than never.