Ayambem Brings Back Neglected Olympian for Rehabilitation and Reintegration


Cross River State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem, has expressed great satisfaction in bringing back Ironbar Bassey, a former gold Olympian from Lagos, to Calabar. Bassey, born in Cross River State in 1965, represented Nigeria in weightlifting at the Olympic Games but faced hardships after an injury during the competition, leading to neglect and menial jobs in Lagos.

Ayambem strongly believes that nobody should be neglected in life’s journey. He shared this sentiment upon arriving at the Magaret Ekpo International Airport, tasked by Governor Bassey Otu to bring Bassey back to Cross River State. 

Recall that on August 29, 2023, the Cross River State House of Assembly, in a motion moved by Rt. Hon. Davies Attah, the member representing Abi State Constituency called on the State Government to quickly rehabilitate and move Ironbar back to Calabar, the motion was unanimously agreed upon, to assist in rehabilitating Ironbar Bassey, who had given up on life, especially in sports. Governor Otu promptly approved the resolution and delegated Speaker Ayambem, along with other officials, to facilitate Bassey’s return and rehabilitation.

In Lagos State, they assured Bassey of Governor Otu’s dedication to rehabilitating, empowering, and reintegrating him into society, particularly in the sports sector. Speaker Ayambem praised Governor Otu for swiftly approving Bassey’s rehabilitation.

In company of the Speaker to Lagos State is the Cross River State Humanitarian Commissioner, Hon. Helen Isamoh, Hon. Brian Odey member representing the Yala 1 State Constituency, Hon Linus Etim, member representing Akampka 1 State Consistency.

Ironbar Bassey, expected to meet Governor Otu in Calabar, expressed his gratitude for this support. He had lost contact with his family in the United States, including his daughter who was attending the U.S. Marine Academy when he returned to Nigeria.