Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A United Kingdom-based philanthropist and sports enthusiast, Gbenga Akinwande, has tasked leaders and people of Ogun West senatorial district, of Ogun State, on the need to use sports as catalyst for the socio-economic development and unity of the senatorial district.
Akinwande, who is the President of Gbenga Akinwande Foundation (GAF), equally said sports could be used to further foster unity among the various towns and communities in the senatorial district.
According to him, the dream of Ogun West to produce the next governor in Ogun State, will continue to be a mirage if the district fails to harness its resource and forge a common interest.
Akinwande, made these known while speaking, on Saturday, at the final of the 4th edition of Yewa Community Cup football competition, held at the soccer pitch of Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro, Yewa North local government area of Ogun State.
He disclosed that GAF decided to sponsor the football competition, not only to benefit the youth, but to enhance unity and promote togetherness in Yewa-Awori land, as the game has brought unity to Nigeria.
He recalled how Ogun West missed the opportunities to govern the state in 1979 and 2011, warning the the people of the zone not to allow division to rob them of producing the successor to the incumbent governor.
Akinwande, however, said apart from promoting sports development among the youth in Ogun West, GAF will soon commence giving education grants to indigent but brilliant students across secondary schools in the area.
While commending the All Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) in Ogun West for their support, Akinwande said the competition which is currently being held in Yewa North and Imeko-Afon Local Government Area, would be extended to other three local government areas in the senatorial district.
Earlier, the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Suraj Ishola Adekunbi, lauded the Foundation for initiating and organizing such competition to promote grassroots development.
Represented by his Special Assistant, Politics, Babalola Abdul-Gafar, Adekunbi, called on other well-to-do indigenes of Ogun West to emulate Akinwande, who he described as a “passionate advocate of Ogun West development”.