Following their outing in the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, the Kogi State Government is set to honour Kogi-born Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ojo Olorunleke and other representatives from the state.
DAILY POST had earlier reported that the Super Eagles of Nigeria lost 2:1 to host nation Ivory Coast at the final on Sunday.
The Kogi State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Anyebe Monday, disclosed this when he met with members of the State Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, (SWAN), on Tuesday in his office in Lokoja.
Monday, who stated that the Kogi Government and Nigeria in general are impressed with the performance of the Super Eagle for reaching this year’s final, said the present administration remains committed to encouraging sportsmen and women who are making the state proud.
“As a youth, I am here to serve my people in the area of sports development and youth empowerment which is one of the cardinal points of this administration. We are working round the clock to ensure that this is achieved through programs that will make meaningful impacts in sports development in Kogi State. It is on this note
“We have put up a memo to his excellency Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo to welcome our Kogi-born goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke, the Chief security officer of the Super Eagles and other representatives of the country. They will be given a victorious welcome. We are very confident it will be given an express approval,” he stated.
The Commissioner tasked SWAN in Kogi State to collaborate with the ministry for him to succeed, stressing that plans are on the way to revive grassroots Sports across the 21 Local Governments.
Earlier in his remarks, the Kogi State SWAN Chairman, Bishop Aturu commended the bold step of the Government to honour the heroic Super Eagle Goalkeeper and his team from Kogi State.
“His stellar performances between the goalposts at the local league earned him a call-up to represent Nigeria at the highest level of African football.
“Despite facing formidable opponents throughout the tournament, including intense matches against powerhouse teams, the Super Eagles displayed resilience, teamwork, and skill, ultimately securing a remarkable second-place finish. Their remarkable run has brought pride and joy to the hearts of Nigerians across the country, including the vibrant sports community in Kogi State” he added.
While commending the exemplary display of sportsmanship exhibited by the Nigerian team, Aturu emphasized the importance of celebrating the achievements of homegrown talents like Ojo Olorunleke, whose success serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes in Kogi State and beyond.
“Olorunleke has exemplified the spirit of dedication and excellence that we strive to promote within our sporting community,” remarked Bishop. His journey from the grassroots to the international stage is a testament to the talent and potential that exists within our state.”
“SWAN expresses its appreciation for the collective effort of the entire Super Eagles squad, coaching staff, and support personnel who played pivotal roles in the team’s success. Their commitment to representing Nigeria with honour and integrity has resonated with fans nationwide, igniting a renewed sense of enthusiasm and pride in Nigerian football.
“As Kogi SWAN celebrates the achievements of its homegrown talent and the Nigerian Super Eagles, the association reaffirms its commitment to supporting and promoting sports development initiatives within the state. Through continued collaboration with stakeholders, SWAN aims to nurture young talents, improve sports infrastructure, and foster a culture of excellence in sports across Kogi State.
“Kogi SWAN extends its heartfelt congratulations to Ojo Olorunleke, the Super Eagles, and all those who contributed to Nigeria’s memorable journey at the AFCON 2023. Their remarkable achievements serve as a testament to the limitless potential of Nigerian sports and inspire hope for even greater triumphs in the future”.
Aside from honouring the Super Eagle player and his team from Kogi State, Aturu charged the new Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development in Kogi State to address the infrastructure decay in the state and also revive grassroots sports to curb social vices such as cultism, kidnapping, armed robbery and many more.
“Poor infrastructure has been a bane to the development of sports in Kogi. Our State is endowed with talents but lacks a conducive environment to operate.
“The decaying state of Confluence Stadium Lokoja is appalling. The structure of that stadium is a world-class standard. South Africa league today is progressing because they had leverage on the good State of their stadium when they hosted the 2010 World Cup. We want to see our stadium put in place so that we can host both local and international competitions”.