By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde on Thursday said that the state government would tackle the challenges of youth restiveness and unemployment through sporting activities.
The governor stated this while receiving the holder of the World Boxing Federation’s Super Featherweight title, Ridwan Oyekola, a.k.a. Scorpion, in Ibadan, the state capital.
The title fight was held in Ibadan in December 2020, where Rilwan Oyekola beat an Argentine to claim the World belt.
The champion had in his entourage members of the Local Organizing Committee and other sporting enthusiasts.
The governor, who received Oyekola’s featherweight belt at the Executive Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, explained that his administration would continue to support young talents as one of the ways to take them off the street.
He congratulated Oyekola on his victory, stating that his victory will encourage more youths to pursue their dreams, even as he urged youths in the state to emulate the boxer and make something meaningful out of their lives.
Governor Makinde pledged to support and encourage the new champion by promoting his dream, stating that the state is ready to host an international competition at the Lekan Salami Sport Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, which is being renovated and remodelled by the government, once it is completed.
It will be recalled that Makinde’s administration embarked on the renovation and remodelling of the landmark stadium in 2020, while mini-stadia are also being constructed across the state to encourage sport development.
The governor, while speaking, also commended the chairman of the Ilaji Hotels and Sport Resort, Engr. Dotun Sanusi, for his commitment to promoting business and particularly sport development, reiterated that his administration will continue to partner with Ilaji Resort in its effort to promote business activities in the state.
Earlier in his speech, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Seun Fakorede, explained that the huge success was essentially driven by the patriotic and magnanimous spirit of the Oyo State Government.
In his remark, the co-chairman of LOC, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo said that the significance of the match was that such a feat was achieved 57 years ago and that the repetition of that history indicated that the Makinde government deserved to be appreciated.
Ladipo lauded the Makinde led-administration for its efforts on youth development and the promotion of sports in the state.