Mr Kazeem Tanimu, the founder of the “7th Republic,” a non-governmental organization made up of Nigerian youngsters from all backgrounds, has lauded Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde for transforming the Lekan Salami Stadium into an international and FIFA-approved level.
In a interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, Tanimu, a young mobilizer and advocate for good governance across Africa, issued the commendation on behalf of the group.
According to him, the ‘7th Republic’ has always hailed and rallied support for every act of selfless leadership directed toward youth empowerment, in accordance with its defining motto for excellent leadership at all levels in Nigeria.
“You know sport is a major unifying factor and an instrument for youths empowerment, so an investment in sport is an investment in youths; the future of any nation.
“Greatness in our continent has always begun with the vision of one dedicated servant leader; from Mandela to Rawlings and in those steps with little drops of leadership in the sands of time.
“Now the governor of a state in the most populous black nation is setting a pace in sports development by remodeling a stadium to world-standard.
“Mandela set the precedence for the world cup in South Africa the first time Africa ever hosted it, and Rawlings was key on sports in all facets and this clearly shows sports could guarantee economic development, serve as a unification point and engage the youth meaningfully.
“As Governor Seyi Makinde, relaunches the Lekan Salami stadium on September 1st, the spirit of unification in healthy competition would light up the city of Ibadan and resonate with Nigerians Nationwide,” he said.
Tanimu went on to say that the renovated stadium will serve as a springboard for the expansion of sports not just in the state but across the continent, as it would be a popular venue for national and continental championships.
He said the restored stadium would play a critical role in the state’s productive involvement of youngsters and, as a result, in reducing restiveness, and asked other state governments to take a page from Makinde’s book.
The renovated Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan will be officially opened on September 1, according to the Oyo State Government.
The Lekan Salami Sport Complex, according to the state government, is being upgraded to FIFA standards, with four world-class changing rooms that can accommodate 25 players and wet areas that can accommodate 11 players at a time.
A Doping Control Room, Clinic, Referee’s Room, Match Officials Room, and a Youth Centre/Ball Boys Rooms are among the other new facilities in the complex.
It was also revealed that the stadium has been outfitted with a state-of-the-art Studio, as well as CCTV facilities that can monitor a five-kilometer radius around the complex and as far as the Ibadan Airport, in accordance with FIFA requirements.