Osun Lawmaker Promotes Unity Through Football Tournament
A lawmaker in Osun State House of Assembly, representing Ife North State Constituency, Mr Babatunde Olatunji, has organised a football competition which he said was aimed at promoting unity and discovering young talents.
At the final day of the game Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola promised his administration’s full commitment to the development of sports in the State.
Mr Aregbesola, represented by the former Commissioner for Culture, Tourism and Home Affairs, Mr Sikiru Ayedun, believes that sports has been a unifying competition which must be developed to achieve total peace.
He urged Nigerian youths to showcase their talents through several programmes initiated by the government in the state.
While commending the organiser of the competition, the State helmsman urged others to emulate him so that more youths would be engaged.
“It is a good thing that this competition was organised. It is helping to take our youths away from engaging in criminal activities. It is also an opportunity for them to discover their talents. For many of them, if this kind of opportunity does not present itself, they may not discover their talent. They have discovered their talent now.
“What we need from them is to sharpen it so that they can also compete with other world known footballers and also participate in national competitions.
“Going through the budget of the state, we will say 2017 will be a year of hope, blessing and abundance for us in Osun in terms of sports, the state government is committed to developing the youths and making sports in the state very attractive to all who intends to participate.
“I can only appeal to all to understand with this government. We are committed to encouraging our youths in sports as this will take many off the street as they participate in various activities.
“I just want to commend the efforts of the organiser, Honourable Babatunde Olatunji. He has done so well in bringing up this kind of competition and I’m sure the youths in this community and constituency which he represents, Ife North State Constituency do appreciate his effort. This is worthy of emulation by all,” he said.
“I am actually delighted to be a part of this momentous occasion.
“The competition was organised at two levels. One was tagged “Ayo Olopon ” which is a traditional Board game. Two winners have emerged both in the female and male category. Then the grassroots football competition for Ife North youths which we are here for.
“It has actually discovered some talents that you can see here. So, I will congratulate my friend and brother, Honourable Tunde Olatunji, for deeming it fit to give back to the society which has elected him to the State House of Assembly in Osun to represent them.
“He has been able to help these youths to discover their talents and most importantly kept them busy from engaging in bad vices,” Dr Ajibola said.
The organiser of the competition, Mr Olatunji said the competition was organised to discover new talents and encourage youths to develop their talents.
Mr Olatunji also told reporters that the competition would be an annual event and encouraged youths in his constituency to give him their maximum cooperation.
“I really thank God for the success of this competition. The motive behind it is that we want to promote sport development in our constituency and we all know sports development is not a burden that the government alone can shoulder and that is why I feel that in my personal capacity, I can see how we can help to promote the development of sports.
“We first had the Ayo Olopon competition, the aim was to see how we can revive this game and package it as our own to the world and the other one is this football which is coming to an end today.
“Football is perhaps the most popular game in the world. It promotes unity, love and brotherliness and that is what we have actually tried to achieve. The first edition of this football competition was in 2013 and our youths really conducted themselves in a very impressive manner.
“We had 12 teams that from our constituency and about 800 to 1,000 youths took part in this game and it has been very impressive. I am very elated that the purpose is not being defeated and we look forward to supporting the talents identified here to try their skills in state, national and international teams as professionals. We believe in their competence.
“We also hope to sustain this. We want to be able to build up on the 2016 edition and we really hope to promote both games concurrently. Our desire is to make it attract national and international attention. We will continue to give our youths the opportunity of showcasing their talents and support their dreams and desires,” he explained.
At the end of the final match of the football competition, EDUNABON 1 went home with 50,000 after beating their Interlinks counterpart by a lone goal.
Cash gifts were presented to the winners and runners up, both in the male and female categories in all other games played including the Ayo-Olopon competition.