Nigeria: Traumatised U.S.-Based Tennis Champion Rescued in Anambra

Awka–The Anambra State government has taken a former professional tennis champion, Tanya Okpala from the streets of Awka into custody for rehabilitation.

Okpala, 41 years, who travelled to the United States of America, USA, some years ago, later got involved in drugs there. She was even thought to have died, only to be sighted along the popular Abakaliki street in the Anambra State capital on Sunday, a place usually patronized by people doing drugs.

Those who knew her immediately contacted the state Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Mrs. Ify Obinabo, who sent her ministry’s officials to take her to a rehabilitation centre.

According to Obinabo, the lady is already receiving medical attention.

She said Governor Chukwuma Soludo and his wife, Nonye, had followed the pathetic story of the lady and promised to give her the best medical and psychological support that would return her to normal life.

“Yes, we have taken her to a rehabilitation centre. Her case has to do with drugs and frustration and from my interaction with her, she understands that she is in a mess and wants to come out of it.

“She expressed sadness that she could not give her child the type of care she enjoyed under her parents.

“Mr Governor and First Lady are particularly interested in this case and have promised to do anything possible to make her live a normal life again,” Obinabo said.

Reacting to Okpala’s situation, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Mr. Tony Nezianya expressed delight over the timely intervention of the Anambra State government to return Okpala to normalcy.

Nezianya, who recalled that Okpala was a tennis champion for many years, described her as a national asset that deserved every attention she could get.

“The Olympic movement in Nigeria is deeply saddened by the plight of Tanya Okpala, but we are delighted that the Anambra State government has taken charge of the situation,” he said.

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