The promoter of the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race, Mike Itemuagbor, has congratulated the Minister for Sports, Solomon Dalung on the organisation of the 19th National Sports Festival which came to an end on Sunday.
Itemuagbor says the Minister displayed uncommon courage to go ahead with the organisation of the event that suffered several postponements between 2014 and the most part of 2018.
“Congratulations for staging the 19th National Sports Festival after several postponements. I commend your courage and wisdom in reviving the only event that brings all Nigerians together. God bless you,” Itemuagbor said in a statement made available to journalists Monday in Lagos.
The Okpekpe race organiser is not unaware that events are becoming larger and somewhat more costly in terms of resources required to host them but the inherent advantages in terms of the development of athletes and the unity it engenders must have informed Dalung’s decision to brave all the financial odds.
“This is why I am particularly happy the Honourable Minister spared no expense to make sure the event was held and the greatest beneficiaries are not just the athletes and the officials but Nigeria. This is particularly more so when religion and ethnicity are being used to divide us daily as a nation.
“I am sure the athletes who were given the opportunity to compete and show how far they have gone in terms of their preparation will always be thankful to the Honourable minister.”
Itemuagbor is also delighted that Edo State has been chosen as the host of the 20th edition of the event.
“Everybody knows Edo state is synonymous with sports and I am certain our sports loving Governor Godwin Obaseki will deliver a National Sports Festival that will serve as the benchmark for future editions.”