Henry Edmund Olufemi Adefope was a Nigerian Army Major-General who was born on 15 March 1926 in Kaduna, Kaduna State, Nigeria to Alice Adefope and Chief Adefope. He was educated at CMS Grammar School, Lagos and Glasgow University, graduating in General medicine in 1952. He worked as a doctor from 1953 to 1963 and was then commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1963. During the course of his life, He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and as an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee.
During his service years in the Nigerian Army, he rose to the rank of Major General and served as Director of Medical Services. From 1975 to 1978, he served as Minister of Labour and from 1978 to 1979 served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, both cabinet portfolios under the military administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo.
Adefope also served in a variety of positions in sports administration, including terms as the President of the Nigerian Olympic Committee from 1967 to 1976 and as Vice-President of the Commonwealth Games Federation from 1974 to 1982. In 1985 he was elected to the IOC. While with the International Olympic Committee, he was a member of the commissions that selected the host cities for the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympic Games respectively. He was investigated but exonerated with regards to the 2002 Winter Olympic bid scandal.
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Adefope also served in a variety of positions in sports administration, including terms as the President of the Nigerian Olympic Committee from 1967 to 1976 and as Vice-President of the Commonwealth Games Federation from 1974 to 1982. He was also a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Sports career and Administration
Adefope was also full of athleticism. He participated in Football, cricket, lawn tennis, athletics, swimming, badminton, table tennis events and tournaments. He was also Captain of the school football team and also represented the Nigerian army in various tennis competitions.
As an administrator, He was:
- Chairman of the National Sports Council (1967-1971)
- Chairman of the National Sports Commission (1971-1975)
- President of the NOC (1967-1976)
- Chairman of the Nigerian Army Sports Control Board (1970-1975)
- Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the 2nd All-Africa Games in Lagos (1973)
- Chairman of the Committee for the 2nd Asia-Africa-Latin American Invitational Table Tennis Tournament in Lagos (1973)
- Vice-President of Commonwealth Games Federation (1974-1982)
Member of the IOC from 1985 to 2006; Honorary Member since 2006; member of the following Commissions: Tripartite (1970-1976), Apartheid and Olympism (1989-1992), Medical (1989-2007), Study for the Preparation of the Olympic Games 1996 (1989-1990), Enquiry for the Games of the XXVII Olympiad in 2000 (1993), Evaluation for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in 2004 (1996-1997), Sport and Environment (2003-2006).
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Family and Death
Adefope was a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His children include Femi Adefope, Dotun Okojie, Folake Nedd, Ronke Eso, Seyi Adefope, Niyi Adefope and Toyin Adeyeye.
Henry Adefope died on 11 March 2012 at the age of 85.
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