Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, reiterated the commitment of his administration to sports development, declaring that the government will provide an enabling environment for sporting activities to thrive in the state.
The governor stated this while receiving members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the World Boxing Federation (WBF) title fight, at the Executive Council Chamber, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
Makinde, who spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun, said that his administration would ensure the success of the world featherweight boxing fight scheduled to hold in Ibadan on December 27, 2020.
He assured the LOC of the necessary support of the government for the success of the Nigerian boxer, Ridwan Oyekola during the championship bout.
“The present administration is quite committed to the development of sports in the state and it is interesting that it has been 57 years, since 1963, that this competition came to Oyo State. So, it is not by coincidence that it is in the time of our governor that this is happening again,” the statement said.
According to the governor, when the government came on board, it made its priorities clear and sports development has always been paramount on the agenda of the government.
He added that this development accounted for the massive support the state has been giving its football clubs and the ongoing remodeling of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan, among others.
“So, with competition like this, we already know, it will bring people into Oyo State. We have secured the state too.
“Let people know that they can come and enjoy themselves this festive period, to come and watch the boxing competition. We are ready for them and the boxer will definitely have the state’s support,” Makinde said.
He further advised the boxer, saying: “This belt that has come to the state today, we don’t expect it to go. You are going to study those videos on the Argentine that you are going to be fighting, and make sure you are on top of your game and look forward to the best, I wish you the very best of luck,” he concluded.
Earlier, the LOC chairman of the World Boxing Federation (WBF) for the title fight, Olawale Okunniyi, said that the world featherweight championship bout between the Nigerian -Ridwan Oyekola, aka Scorpion and an Argentine – Lucas Matias Montesino, will hold in Ibadan on the December 27.
Okunniyi noted that the last time Ibadan hosted such a bout was on Aug 10, 1963 at Liberty Stadium, declaring that another bout was going to be held 57 years after.
He said that hosting such a global event in Ibadan under Governor Makinde, whom he described as a sports’ lover, is the best thing to happen during his tenure.