Chairman Ekiti State Football Association, Bayo Olanlege has assured the youths and sports stakeholders in the state that sports will thrive if they give their mandate to the Governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji.
Olanlege, a member of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) congress gave the assurance during a radio programme in Ado-Ekiti ahead of Saturday’s Ekiti State Gubernatorial Election.
According to the young astute sports administrator, “I am not particularly about sports development, rather more interested in what sports can be used for the youths as it’s all about development of the youths and that’s what excites me about Oyebanji.
“We’re wonderful people in Ekiti, but we also need one major thing to add to us being Professors and that’s exposure. What sector can give you as much exposure as Sports? If we put all of this together, we all know there’s no one living in the world that does not know the importance of sports.
“For me, the APC government has given much commitment to sports in Ekiti State unlike the past government. I want to be exact as in the last four years before Kayode Fayemi became Governor, I bitterly complained of how Ekiti State athletes used their own funds to travel for sporting events and at the end, Ekiti State Government claims the glory, the state won gold medals, did well in Handball and Volleyball but at the end, that government had to go.
“Thankfully, the APC government have been able to proffer solutions to some of the problems and they have asked that we give them continueity by voting Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji and in return, they will establish a Sports Commission, which off course will make things better for sports in the state.
“Oyebanji, who has not been elected Governor has also shown his zeal to make the youths thrive via sports as he gave the go ahead to host the BAO Cup that was contested for by the 16 local government councils in the state.
“He also gave assurances that his government will give total support to the Ekiti Sports Trust Fund, all in a bid to fast track the development of sports in the state.”
Speaking on the challenges facing the Ekiti FA, “I get misunderstood sometimes, when I refuse to be an idealist, for me, we need to be practical as we can be and it sometimes it seems that I am controversial. When I feel this way is wrong and this is the way that’s right, I go after it.
“We have been very lucky that all those people that really matter like Seun Odewale, Akin Oyebode, HIS Excellence Governor of Ekiti State, Commissioner for Youths and Sports, have been of good support to us.
“The Commissioner, some days ago was on a radio programme and he said lots of things have changed as the stadium is bubbling with different sporting activities, and one of the associations that has brought light to the stadium is the Ekiti State Football Association.”