A gubernatorial aspirant in Oyo State, Professor Adeolu Akande has congratulated Nigeria on its qualification for World Cup finals in Russia with a lamentation that Oyo State has ceased to produce players for the national football team.
”While I congratulate the gallant players of the Super Eagles and felicitate with Nigerians on this historic occasion, I lament the fact that my dear Oyo State has for some time now not been prominent in the national football team”
Professor Akande who said the prominence of states in national teams is a means of projecting the state and develop the socio-economic life of the citizenry said Oyo State has to reclaim its old glory when many players in national sporting teams were from the state.
He said his Development Agenda for Oyo State will pursue a youth development programme that promotes physical, mental, and spiritual development of the youths to make them champions not only in national competitions but in international sporting competitions as well.
Professor Akande stated that the school curriculum would be reviewed to place emphasis on these aspects of youth development. “Adequate resources and a vibrant programme of collaboration with the community, old student associations and the corporate world would be put in place to ensure that the innate potentials of our youths are developed to make them achieve the greatest heights that their talents and diligence permit.
“We are going to have a youth development programme that goes beyond the perimeter fence of educational institutions to encourage and develop the talents that abound in our street corners and neighbourhoods, noting that some of the greatest stars produced in Nigerian football like Muda Lawal and Rasisi Yekinni were not produced by the educational institutions.
Akande who recalled with nostalgia that Oyo State had produced indigenes and non-indigenes like Segun Odegbami, Sam Ojebode, Muda Lawal, Kunle Awesu, Best Ogedengbe, Rasidi Yekini, Mutiu Adepoju, Muyiwa Oladimeji for national football teams at different times said Oyo State must reclaim its lost glory in sports.
“Our aspiration will be to put the youths of Oyo State in the best football leagues in the world and in the elite competitions of the different sporting activities across the globe. We have to go back to producing world champions”, he said.