The General Manager Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Yussuf Alli on Monday described the award of the Sports Personality of the Year (2020) bestowed on Comrade Philip Shaibu, the Edo State Deputy Governor by The Sun Newspapers as a perfect fit.
The Sun Newspaper on Saturday named Shaibu as the Sports Personality of 2020.
“It is a perfect fit. In the last five years, Shaibu’s contributions to sports at the local, state, national and international levels has been huge, the award is a perfect recognition for a man who worked with sports-loving Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to reposition sports in Edo state and Nigeria.’’
Alli posits that today Shaibu is more synonymous with sports than activism, “He is not just a sports administrator par excellence, he is also a participant, he is the first governor or deputy governor to register and play in the Nigeria Football League.
“He is also the first major political office holder to win a football gold medal at the National Sports Festival, after leading Team Edo to a 3-2 win over Team Lagos in the final of the men’s football event at the festival.”
Alli said supporters of Edo Insurance Football Club of Benin will remain grateful to him for the role in reviving the club while players and staff of Edo Queens will not forget that he ensured they earn equal salaries and allowances with their male counterparts, the players of Edo Insurance FC”.
Alli recalled that as head of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival hosted by Edo state, Shaibu did an excellent job,
“With the support of his Governor, Shaibu worked tirelessly to ensure that Edo put world-class sports facilities and equipment in place, the organization was seamless despite enormous challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.’’
The General Manager of Access Bank Lagos City Marathon also recalled the contribution of Shaibu to the meteoric rise of sprint sensation Enoch Adegoke culminating in his making the final of the men’s 100m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“At a stage in his career when few believed in Adegoke, Shaibu invested his time and money in the sprinter, the result was his spectacular showing in Tokyo where he became the first Nigerian to make the Olympics 100m final in 25 years.”
Alli also commended the management of The Sun Newspapers for giving honour to whom it is due.