The umbrella body of sports journalists of Edo State extraction, Edo Sports Media Practitioners Forum, has unveiled an ambitious programme for its maiden award night that is scheduled for the later part of the year.
The body, which convened in Lagos on Wednesday decided that Governor Adams Oshimhole of Edo State, Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, former national team handler, Shaibu Amodu, Okpekpe race initiator, Mike Itemuagbor and Secretary to the Edo State Government Prof. Julius Ihonvbere will be honoured for their contributions to sports growth in the state in particular and Nigeria in general.
The body which consists of prominent journalist like Ade Ojeikere, Frank Ilaboya, Felix Okugbe, Patrick Omorodion, Smarts Ebhodaghe, Aikhoje Ojeikere, Mike Maiyaki, Cecilia Omorogbe, Ojieva Ehiosun, Ben Alaiya and chaired by Osaretin Emuzie, said it was about time that sports in the state is redefined and the first step is to reward those who have been trying to reposition sports in Edo State.
Emuzie said in a release that Oshiomhole is being specially recognized for launching the revival of Bendel Insurance as well as the reinvention of Edo State Sports Festival. Keshi is getting a special honour as a honorary citizen of Edo State and his achievement with the Super Eagles. On his part, Amodu is being recognized for his outstanding achievements as national team coach and the only Nigerian coach to have qualified the country twice for the World Cup.
Itemuagbor is being praised for his achievement in sports marketing in Nigeria and for initiating the 10-kilometre Okpekpe Road Race, while Prof. Ihonvbere is being recognized for his love for sports and the support he has been giving to sports development through several programmes that the government of Edo State has initiated through the SSG’s office.
While the body said it was in total support of Governor Oshiomhole, laudable sports programme, it urged Corporate Nigeria to back the Okpekpe Road race, which the IAAF has already listed on its international calendar for gold status.
“We believe in the sports activities of the people and government of Edo State and throw our weight behind the Okpekpe Race that has the potential of making Nigeria a sports and tourism destination in the nearest future.”