From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The organisers of the Oloibiri Run Yenagoa Half Marathon have commended the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva for his drive to ensure the event holds as scheduled in Bayelsa State.
The project coordinator, Mr Eyinimi Omorozi who stated this shortly after inaugurating sub-committees for the event said Sylva’s positive drive would ensure that the main objective to reawaken international and national consciousness to the first oil well is achieved.
“Honestly I must give great appreciation to the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva who has given his nod and who has said this is something we must carry out. As a matter of fact he has put his weight and everything to ensure this event holds,” he said.
Omorozi speaking further on the objectives of the sporting event said aside promoting sport and drawing attention to the Oloibiri oil well, which has been subject of several promises by successive administrations, the event would also be used to show case the tourism potentials of Bayelsa State.
He said :“We want to use it showcase Bayelsa, to rebrand the state to showcase the tourism potentials of the state and attract investment into the state. Lastly is to use it as a tool to reinvent the historical heritage of Oloibiri Oil well one. We know that oil was discovered there in 1956 and 18 years after the oil was depleted, nothing was done there again. Successive administrations have come to make promises. So we are saying let us use this big marathon event to reawaken our consciousness concerning the Oloibiri Well one so that we can give that place a national and international recognition and visibility so that government and stakeholders would begin to do something”’
Omorozi while commending the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture an and the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) for agreeing to be part of the project, thanked the Bayelsa State government for providing the needed partnership through personnel to help in the planning for the hosting of the event
The Permanent Secretary Bayelsa Ministry of Youths, Mr Mightyman Aye Dikuro who represented the Bayelsa Commissioner for Sports tasked all committee members to work selflessly to make the event a reality.
Mr Aye Dikuro who also doubles as the Chairman of the General Management Committee of the event said the Bayelsa State government is ready to provide necessary encouragement to ensure the event achieves its aim.