By CrossRiverWatch Admin
51-year-old, Cross River state born, ‘Ironbar Bassey‘ is an athlete who represented Nigeria in Weightlifting at the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles, United States Of America.
The #TeamNigeria to Los Angeles 84, had a total of 32 contingent. 30 men and 2 women.
The country won two medals. 1 silver and 1 bronze.
Peter Konyegwachie won a silver medal in the 57kg Men’s Featherweight boxing category, while the quartet of Innocent Egbunike, Rotimi Peters, Moses Ugbusien and Sunday Uti, won a Bronze medal in the men’s 400m relay run.
Ironbar Bassey, also represented the country at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane Queensland, Australia and the Australian Championships in 1983.
He never had a world record but in Los Angeles 84, Ironbar Bassey, represented Nigeria in the Men’s Super Heavyweight category along with Batholomew Oluoma, and lifted 110kg+
That could not get him on the medals range though.
He however had an injury and couldn’t continue in sports.
Sadly, the government abandoned him to his fate and he recently relocated to Lagos to provide for his family.
He now earns a living volunteering as a laborer in Lagos “go slow”.
Alex Blanc Okelue caught up with him in Lagos recently and spoke with him in an encounter that was first published by Linda Ikeji blog.
Read the account of their encounter:
This is a story of a man who does what most Nigerians will naturally not do.
He is a husband, father, a Nigerian from Cross River State.
He is a construction worker.
His name is ‘Mr. Bassey Ironbar’.
He got injured as a weightlifter for Nigeria in the 80s.
In more organized countries with responsible governments, he will be taken care of and he will lack nothing.
Not too many people pay attention to his rare community service which he started in 2015 right after he left his family in Calabar to work in Lagos.
He met an old woman on Badore-Addo Road, Ajah, walking and felt troubled to see such an elderly woman stressing herself under the hot sun.
He went to find out why, the woman told him the traffic on the road was unbearable so she decided to walk.
Out of concern, Mr Bassey decided to know the cause of the traffic and how he could solve the problem that day, if possible.
During his finding, he observed that some pot holes ahead caused vehicles to slow down, thereby causing the traffic to build up behind.
He decided to fix it and his effort that day, though took a while, paid off.
He also discovered that the dredging activities along the road caused sand to block the drainage, blocking the flow of water on the road, and constantly damaging that patch .
Seeing that the government is not paying attention to the road, Ironbar decided to make it a duty to always fix the road and clear the sand from the drainage to allow water flow unhindered.
Mr. Bassey resumes at 5am and closes at 11am each day.
This has become his office. Doing the job meant for the Government, LASTMA and
He is not paid by anyone to do this. Some persons dash him money for food as they drive by.
From Sunday to Sunday, morning till night, he is always there working under the Sun or Rain.
Many may think he is mad, but he said he is not, he is sane and hope others can do same.
As Nigeria clocks 57, we need such men to be celebrated so that there will be a ripple effect of such selfless acts.
He may have decided to look the other way like most of us will, but he faced the problem.
If you reside in that area, show him some love, stop and discuss with him.
Take photos of him and with him. He is quite friendly and approachable.
This could motivate some people on the street to follow his foot steps.
Cheers to this stand out man, Mr. Bassey Ironbar.
He is definitely the real MVP.