Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, has described sports as a reliable and potent instrument of national integration, as well as mechanism for nation-building.
He said his administration was convinced that engaging youths in such activities tend to foster unity and peaceful co-existence.
Oyetola made this known on Tuesday in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, at the state reception of the ‘Torch of Unity,’ for the just postponed 20th National Sports Festival tagged, ‘Edo 2020’ held at Government Secretariat, Abere.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Benedict Olugboyega Alabi maintained that the youths have a huge role to play in the quest for stability and National cohesion, adding that one of the ways to achieve the feat is through sports engagement.
He stressed that the All Progressives Congress, APC’s administration in the state is building productive and patriotic youth population by committing huge resources to sports development.
” As a state with genuine concern for National development through productive engagements like sports, we shall continue to provide an enabling environment, modern equipment and adequate resources for training of our sportsmen and women, especially school sports, for the purpose of monitoring the formative stage.
Our administration has committed huge resources into sports development in the State, including appointment of more qualified coaches/trainers in the State sports Council, construction of a befitting sports stadium among others.
“This level of commitment on our part is a clear-cut pointer to the fact that our government is desirous of optimal performance in sports activities as a robust instrument of socio-economic stability”, the governor resorted.
He added that the ‘National Sports Festival Torch of Unity’ was symbolic and significant to the event, saying receiving the torch of unity indicates his government’s endorsement of the festival and a commitment to partake with a high sense of responsibility and sportsmanship.
“Sports to us at the state of Osun is beyond winning medals. It is an instrument of building character and instilling leadership traits in our youths, who are our strength and our future, we, therefore, charge the state athletes who are going to represent Osun at the postponed National Sports games to be worthy ambassadors of the state”, Oyetola stated.