ABEOKUTA – Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has disclosed that his administration is committed to host the best National Sports Festival in the history of the country.
Abiodun disclosed this at the grand finale of the State 5-Aside Street Soccer Tournament, held in Abeokuta, the State capital.
The Governor represented by his Special Assistant on Youth and Sports, Olamide Lawal, noted that the state government has shown serious commitment about the hosting of NSF with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Ministry of Sports .
He added that all plans have been made towards, disclosing that the right stakeholders have been engaged.
The Governor said “The government is also putting it’s mind in sports development now and that is one of the reasons why the Governor effortlessly bided for hosting of the National Sports Festival and to the glory of God, we have won it , we have signed MoU and the Governor has assured that Ogun State is going to give the best of National festival in the history of Nigeria.
“The Governor himself knows what it takes to host best National Festival and he is a man of his words. The Governor said the State is going to host best National Sports Festival and the commitment is unwavering and intact. The bidding is just a catalyst to turn around the sporting activities of the State.
“Look at the covering of the M.K. O Abiola stadium seats, they thought it will not be possible but within short period of time, the stadium was covered”.
He added “Everything plan is on ground, consultant is working , various companies have been engaged. As soon as the governor is sworn-in , the action will continue to roll”.
On the brain behind the tournament, he
said “This tournament has fulfilled his primary objective, objective in the sense that, we are bringing young people from the streets, most of them that doesn’t have club but have the talent in them and help them showcase it to the world.
“We have used this tournament to also engaged them so as to discourage them from social vices. We have use this competition to empower them. We have created activities for them and it is a means to develop sports in Ogun State”.
Abiodun who pledged that the competition will be sustained, called for more public private partnership in the State’s Sports sector, saying government alone cannot develop sports.
He said “In our bid to ensure the sustainability of this concept, we are doing it in line with the vision of the Governor to make sure that there is Public Private Partnership.
This competition as you can see we are doing it with iHouse limited and we believe that when this first edition is done, more things will follow”.
According to him, “All 20 local governments were represented, they played within their local governments and each local government champion emerged and you can see the numbers of team down here in Abeokuta. We have done this, we now have what to present to the private sectors for them to be involved because government alone cannot develop sports. We will make sure the private sectors are involved. We are making sports enticing to the private sector so as to make it part of the Corporate Social Responsibility”.
He denied neglecting the State’s Gateway Football Club who are battling for relegation at the National league, saying the government cares about them.
A sports stakeholder in the State, Allen Taylor commended the organisers of the football competition, saying ” We need more of this in the State. There are many talents out there so this is good”.
The Head of Admin, iHouse limited,
Ibrahim Nasir, said that they partnered with State government in order to discover more talents for the State.
He said that they believed sports is a unifying factor as well as means of engaging the youths in what is worthwhile.
At the end of the final match, Victory FC of Ifo local government defeated The Tigers of Ewekoro LG by two goals to one.
In the third place match, Future Stars of Yewa South LG overpowered Bright Stars of Ijebu North by three goals.
The winner goes home with N500,000 while the first runners up took home N300,000 and the second runners up got N200,000.
The winning team coach, Tobiloba Adekunle, expressed his gratitude to the organisers for organizing the competition, saying it was a dream come true.
His words: ” I am so happy, we are not a team, we are friends on the streets, I am a Disc jockey and look we are winners. I am so happy”
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