By Emmanuel Adeleke
The Accord senatorial candidate for Oyo South, Kolapo Kola-Daisi, has again reiterated the importance of youths engagement and development as a necessary tool for national development.
Kola-Daisi stated this while speaking at the final of the KKD football competition held at Liberty stadium, Ibadan, on Sunday.
He noted that sports is a big tool for youths engagement and development in the world where things work, adding that such can be replicated in Nigeria.
“Out there in the world where things work, sports is a big tool for youth engagement and development, and I believe we can replicate same here. As part of our plans to engage the youths, it will be used as a major channel to take these talented young ones off the street and maximise their potential.
“I play with some of these kids on weekends across the span of the senatorial zone, and I’m always amazed at the talent on display. So, politics aside, it was an easy decision to start now and provide them with a platform to blossom and embark on a journey that has the potential to showcase them to the world.
“Ninety per cent of our population is under the age of 50, and the median age in the country is currently 19. This means that the youths constitute the majority of the population. To me, this also indicates that if we can productively engage and solve the challenges that the youths face, we will have solved a large portion of our country’s problems,” he said.
At the end of the competition, Kola-Daisi commended all the participants and promised to be monitoring their progress as well as drawing opportunities for growth towards them.
“For me, all of these boys, 2,150 of them, are winners. This is because we will be monitoring their progress and drawing opportunities for growth towards them. This is not the end of our engagement with each and everyone of them, including their coaches.
“You should also know that we are already talking to the female football, boxing, and athletics bodies here, and we have set up a sports development committee to initiate and manage our plans for the deployment of sports to engage even more young people, who I know are in their abundance across Oyo South,” he added
The senatorial candidate also expressed confidence in the people’s support to win the February 25, 2023 elections.
The competition, which saw 86 grassroots youth teams from the nine local governments in Oyo South competed for three months, which culminated in the final match between Swanlux FC from Ibadan South West Local Government and Shining Stars FC from Ibadan North Local Government.
A total of N1.1 million was taken home by the final four teams in cash prizes, with the winner going home with 500,000 naira. Individual prizes were also given to the most valuable player, the best goalkeeper and the highest goal scorer in the tournament.