BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his government will continue to prioritize sports development, deploying strategies to harness the sporting potentials of youth in the state to promote peace and ensure sustainable socio-economic growth and development.
The governor gave the assurance in commemoration of this year’s International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), marked by the United Nations and its sister agencies with the theme, “Securing a Sustainable and Peaceful Future for All: The Contribution of Sports.”
Obaseki, who noted the role of sports in sustaining peace and development in society, said his administration will sustain programmes and policies to harness the sporting potential in the state to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all Edo citizens.
According to him, “As we join the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, we must remind ourselves of the very important role that sports play in promoting peace and unity and achieving sustainable socio-economic growth and development.
“Sports have the power to change the world. It is not just a veritable tool to promote peaceful coexistence and tolerance; it has the potential of creating employment opportunities, thereby positively engaging our young people and reducing crime and other nefarious activities in society. This is why we are determined to create the enabling environment that is required for sports to grow.”
Obaseki noted, “In Edo, we have established the Edo Sports Commission to drive our administration’s sports development plan and encourage private sector participation.
“We believe that our role is to create world-class facilities, which is why we have made a huge investment in sports infrastructure across the state and we will continue to do so. Aside from the total revamp of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, we have built over 20 standard football pitches across the state.”
“We have also initiated programmes and activities to engage our young men and women very early in life, to get them interested in sports and participate actively in different sporting activities,” the governor added.