By David Adeoye
Ibadan, Jan. 14, 2021 Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Thursday in Ibadan received the new WBF super featherweight champion, Ridwan Oyekola, urging Nigerian youths to emulate the boxer.
Naija247news recalls that Oyekola beat an Argentine, Lucas Matias Montesino, on Dec. 27 in Ibadan to win the World Boxing Federation (WBF) title.
Oyekola who is an Oyo state indigene and is nicknamed “Scorpion” was accompanied during the visit by the fight’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chairman, Olawale Okunniyi, and other sports enthusiasts.
Makinde, while receiving him, urged Nigerian youths to emulate the boxer by making something meaningful out of their lives.
“Your victory will encourage more youths to pursue their dreams,” he said.
The governor then promised to support and encourage the new champion by promoting his dream.
Makinde further said his administration would tackle the challenges of youth restiveness and unemployment through sports activities.
He added that his government would continue to support young talents, as a way of taking them off the streets.
“Boxing has always been a treasured sport, and I believe that more world champions are going to be produced in Oyo state.
“Now that we have been able to produce a world champion, I believe this is just the beginning.
“Just as Nigeria produced Anthony Joshua in the heavyweight category, there is nothing that can stop us from repeating that.
“The only thing that can stop us is if we don’t give the opportunity to our talents, if we don’t support them.
“Our administration will do those things that we have to do to produce more champions and also to promote boxing.
“I will do everything as a government to encourage talents and also to encourage businesses that are promoting competitions like this.”
In his response, Oyekola expressed his appreciation of the support and encouragement received from the Oyo state government before and during the bout.
He promised to continue to be a good ambassador of the state and the country at large, adding that he would not let down his supporters.
In his remarks, the LOC co-chairman, Rafiu Ladipo, said the significance of the match was that such a feat was achieved in the same Ibadan about 57 years ago.
“The repetition of that history is an indication that the Makinde government deserves to be appreciated.”
Ladipo then commended the Makinde-led administration for its efforts in youth development and the promotion of sports in the state.