By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Sunday morning felicitated with world boxing champion for displaying “Ogun standard of excellence by reclaiming all the titles in the re-match with his opponent, Andy Ruiz Jr”.
An elated Prince Abiodun said that the State-born Anthony Joshua made Nigerians proud and restored confidence that the Nation will be great again.
“I congratulate Anthony on this successful outing. May he, continue with the winning streak ad infinitum”, Abiodun prayed.
The world heavyweight championship in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night, Gov Abiodun said,kept sleep away from the eyes of many admirers of AJ worldwode, especially, people of Ogun State. He noted that the Sagamu-born boxer outclassed Andy Ruiz Jr over 12 rounds “to compensate them and reassured us that hard work pays”.
“My joy is unquantifiable”, he said, adding that “our government has always dimensioned sports as not only a unifying factor but a socio-economic imperative”.
The Governor, however, attributed the outcome to the manifestation of God’s love for the people of the State who prayed ceaselessly for AJ, that the nightmarish experience of New York earlier in the year is reversed.
“God still answers prayers. We return all glory to God Almighty for granting our hearts’ desires and ceaseless prayers for our brother, Anthony Joshua, to regain the IBF, WBA and WBO titles.”
“All of us in the state, irrespective of our religious affiliations prayed for his success. That the feat happened in Saudi Arabia doubly excites me. God answered us”, an excited Gov Abiodun enthused.
He also lauded Anthony Joshua for his determination, hard work, resilience and focus which he described as virtues engrained in the DNA of Ogun people.
“He has made us proud by exhibiting these traits and the can-do spirit of Ogun people”, Abiodun added.
This victory, noted Abiodun, should inspire other aspiring champions of Ogun State origin to do more. “On our path”, the Governor said, “We would provide the necessary incentives to all our ambitious young men and women to become World Champions in all considerable areas of sports, not only in boxing”
“We are poised to fix our stadia, upgrade facilities, train sportsmen and women, motivate coaches and develop talents starting from the grassroots”.
He called on all stakeholders to be concerned about hunting for, and, developing talents. Abiodun noted that with sports, more people would be pulled out of poverty, while insecurity, social strife and crimes would be kept in check.