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Ese Brume reveals how she escaped death after winning gold at Asaba 2018

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Sixteen months after winning a gold medal for Nigeria at Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship, Commonwealth and African gold medallist in the women’s long jump, Ese Brume has revealed how she escaped death on her way to Lagos.

Brume, who is combining education with her athletics career in a university in North Cyprus, was one of the top stars at the end of Asaba 2018.

However, Brume and some other foreign-based athletes left Asaba on a sad note following alleged failure by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) to pay their daily allowance of $700, as well as $3,000 each gold medallist was supposed to get. Apart from not getting her financial dues, Brume narrowly escaped death on her way to Lagos.

Speaking with The Guardian during the Nigeria Sports Award at Eko hotel in Lagos, Brume narrated how the vehicle she boarded from Benin City narrowly missed attack by gunmen around Ore, Ondo State.

“People who are close to me know that I hardly complain. But there are certain things you don’t do to athletes,” she stated. “At the end of Asaba 2018, it was a rude shock for some of us to receive just N107, 000 as a total allowance for the duration of the game. Some of us had to reject it because we considered it as an insult. I was almost stranded because there was not provision for flight to take me to Lagos. I had to go by road.

“Shortly after we passed Ore, our driver stopped. He came down and strolled around the vehicle without saying a word to us. That was our saving grace because all the buses and cars that passed us ran into an ambush by the gunmen. Many people were killed and several others got injured. I am sure God used the driver to prevent us from running into the ambush. My body was shaking all through the journey to Lagos. I am speaking on that terrible experience for the first time and I felt so bad that the AFN could treat us that way.”

Brume also alleged that top officials of the AFN turned their backs on her after she rescued a bronze medal for Nigeria at the 2019 IAAF World Championship in Doha.

“I don’t know what else to do to impress these people. After I won the bronze medal in Doha, nobody in the AFN came to say a word to me. I was abandoned. I was alone for the remaining days I spent in Doha waiting for my flight. No word of congratulation from the AFN. I felt neglected. It is not the best way to encourage an athlete,” she lamented.

Brume jumped 6.91m to captured Nigeria’s only medal in Doha 2019.

Meanwhile, Brume, who emerged as Athletics star of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year at the Eighth Nigerian Sports Award, has dedicated it to her coach, Kayode Yahaya.

Africa badminton champion, Opeyori Anuoluwapo was crowned in two different categories, 2019 Rackets Person of the Year and Sportsman of the Year, while former Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo emerged footballer of the year. D’Tigress captain, Evelyn Akhator won the Basketball Person of the Year award.


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