By Salifu Usman, Abuja
Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has opposed the hosting of the 21st edition of National Sports Festival (NSF) in Delta State, saying it contradicts the vision for its formation.
Governor Abiodun, who stated this when the minister of youth and sports development, Chief Sunday Dare, paid him a courtesy call in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, said he would like to host biannual in Ogun State.
The governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Kunle Somorin, said he was disappointed to hear that Delta State was announced as the next host of the National Sports Festival after Edo, the neighbouring state hosted the last edition in Benin.
“We will like to host the National Sports Festival in Ogun State and I believe that you cannot find a better state than us, particularly as the Gateway State.
“I was just sharing with you that we are quite disappointed that having hosted the sports festival in Edo, when the next state was announced, it now became Delta. We know that when the idea of the festival was first conceived, the whole idea of it was to foster unity amongst all the states in the country, particularly encourage our youths to travel and explore other states, enjoy their hospitality, understand their culture, heritage and compete with each other.
“So, when the festival goes to Edo State today and then tomorrow goes to Delta, it clearly contradicts the vision for its formation. I want to implore that going forward, we will like to host the sports festival in Ogun State, I believe that you can’t find a better State than us,”Abiodun posited.
He pointed out that as a result of huge funds required by the sports sector and competitions from other sectors for funding, his administration would set up a Sports Trust Fund where a certain percentage of money is deposited on a monthly basis to fund sporting activities in the state.
He also announced the adoption of Oluwatobiloba Ayomide Amusan, a Nigerian track and field athlete of Ogun State extraction for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The 24 year old Oluwatobiloba who specializes in the 100 metres hurdles and sprint, won the 2018 Commonwealth and 2019 African Championship. She is also a two-time African Games champion and ranked 4th in the World following her feat at the World championships in Doha in 2019.
The ‘Adopt-an-athlete’ is an initiative of the minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare, which has seen State Governors, individuals and corporate bodies adopt some Olympics- bound athletes by paying money directly to the athletes account to support their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.
“I like this adoption initiative, as you were speaking, I was already putting down names of who I am going to tell my sports team to go and speak with alongside some of our business people because this is a business state. I am very proud to hear that one of our daughters is doing well and doing us proud, each and every time that we find any indigene of Ogun State doing well, we support them, we throw out weight behind them.
“So Tobi Amusan is adopted this afternoon, please, help us to identify other young up and coming indigenes of the state that are doing well that we can support and nurture to actualise their dreams, we will be more than happy to do that. We will like to collaborate with you, the joy will be ours in Ogun state, but the glory is to the entire country,” Governor Abiodun submitted.