Friday, September 11, 2020 5:16 pm
… reasons he places priority on sports generally
The Governor of Kwara State Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has promised to host the 1994 Super Eagles in recognition of their role in lifting the image of the country and to keep the memory of late Rashidi Yekini alive.
The Governor made this pledge while on a visit to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr Sunday Dare where they also discussed prospects in youth and sports development and areas of mutual collaboration.
Governor Abdulrazaq announced that progress had been made to immortalize late Nigerian football icon Rashidi Yekini by naming the Kwara State Sports Complex Stadium, Ilorin, after him. “We will send a bill to the State House of Assembly to immortalize Rashidi Yekini with the name of the stadium changing, after the approval.”
The Minister reminded the Governor of the series of letters that had been written to the Kwara State Government to immortalize Yekini with the naming of the stadium after the late football legend.
Governor Abdulrahman said he was a passionate follower of the US ‘94 squad.
“I was at the stadium in the US when Daniel Amokachi scored what seemed to be the best goal against Greece. It was quite memorable for me as an ardent lover of the game of football. After that goal, I fell in love with Jersey “Number 14” which Daniel Amokachi aka “The Bull”, wore. After the tournament, I knew it would be difficult to produce that set of great and committed footballers.”
The Governor said he was looking forward to hosting the USA ’94 Squad in Ilorin, to relive the memory of late Yekini who hailed from Ira Local Area of Kwara State.
The Special Assistant Sports to the President, Daniel Amokachi said he was excited that the Governor had deemed it fit to rename the Kwara State Stadium after his late team mate, even as he was looking forward to the Governor hosting the team.
The US ‘94 squad was ranked the 5th best team in the world by FIFA team following their impressive performance which saw them beat Greece and Bulgaria before losing to Italy.
In his response, Mr. Dare urged the Governor to sustain his support for sports development, noting that sports helps in reducing social vices. “I want to thank His Excellency for hosting our biggest youth games in Ilorin, your Excellency we are coming to Ilorin again because of the facilities at the University of Ilorin. I love the fact that His Excellency loves sports. I encourage you to invest more in sports”
Why Governor Abdulrazaq places priority on Sports also
One of the first ways to show his love for Sports was that Governor Abdulrazaq approved the revival Kawara’s annual sports festival which had been in a state of limbo since 2005. Reason: He wants the youths to be productively engaged in order to discover and improve on their talents.
So, in January this year, the state government made contingents from across its 16 local governments take part in the seventh Kwara State Sports Festival. Everyone received this development with éclat.
In the words of the Kwara Governor shortly after watching a volleyball game between Ilorin West and Offa in January: “The resuscitation of Kwara State Sports Festival hinges on the need to invest in youth and sports. Hitherto, the state hired athletes to represent the state in festivals and we need to invest in ourselves and get the home-grown youths to take part in various sports events (nationwide and internationally)”
“(There will be) renovation of the sports complex, investments in youth and sports. You will see a face-lift of the Indoor Sports Hall of the state stadium, a new squash court and renovation in all facets.
“It is a pity that we’ve allowed (sports) infrastructure to decay. But despite that we can see the zeal, commitment of the sportsmen and women as well as the officials. You can see that they want to participate in sports. So, we need to provide the enabling environment to do what they need to do.
“In fact, this is a good beginning. We are not going to hire athletes to represent the state. The home-grown talents will represent us. So, we’ll have a 10 year plan. We are not saying that we will be at the top of the medals table in Edo but gradually we will be the best.”