From: Tony Osauzo, Benin
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, on Saturday, completed the 10km Okpekpe Road Race in 86.4 minutes to fulfil his promise to run for “We Care Trust Charity” set up by wife of ex-governor Adams Ooshiomhole, Iara, to cater orphans in the state.
Hot on his heels were Deputy Governor Phillip Shaibu, who completed the race in 86.7 minutes and former governor Adams Oshiomhole, who completed the race after 87.3 minutes of perspiration.
Speaking after the race, Governor Obaseki said he would set up a sport commission backed up by the law to re-position sporting activities in the state.
” The focus is strictly in ensuring that there is development of sports in Edo State. I decided to run for orphanage. We have more than 30 of them in Edo State. Some chose to run for cancer to raise money for the cure, some students of AAU decided to run against cultism.”
According to him, it was also an opportunity to draw attention to areas and issues of concern, adding that the serenity and safety in the area could also attract investors planning to work with local resources.
Besides, Obaseki reiterated that the race had created added value and prosperity to the people.
“It was a challenge getting to Okpekpe before it was constructed. Today, we have a free and motorable road. We have International people who have come to run in Okpekpe to this city and town”, he said.
In his comment, ex-Governor Adams Oshiomhole expressed delight for witnessing the 5th edition of the race.
“There were alot of people who thought that once comrade Oshiomhole is out of office the Okpekpe race will be out of the way. The point I really want to amplify is for us to appreciate what Obaseki has done by his own participation by coming here to give affirmative action or expression to put commitment to continue to guard our votes because that is the problem of Nigeria.
“So, I’m happy that the programme has outlived my own tenure of office and that is the way it should be”, he explained.
Minister of Sport and Youths Development, Solomon Dalong, appreciated the quality put into the preparation that led to the success of the event calling on the sustainability of the event to promote sports in the country.
He appreciated the hospitality of the people of Edo State and also participant running for various causes saying this determination will promote sport in Edo State and by extension Nigeria.
“Okpekpe tradition is unique and I call on private sectors to key into the programme to improve it”, he said.