Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State on Tuesday, hosted the World, Commonwealth and African 100 metres hurdles, Oluwatobi Amusan and named her as the Ogun State Sport Ambassador.
A press statement issued in Abeokuta by Kunle Somorin, the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, indicated that Governor Abiodun gifted the Ijebu-Ode born athlete a cash reward of N5 million and a 3-bedroom flat in her home town – Ijebu-Ode.
BusinessDay recalls that the governor had on the 26th day of April, 2021 adopted the star athlete, whose exploits were made known to the governor by the Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare.
Speaking further at the event held at his Oke- Mosan Office, Governor Abiodun described Tobi Amusan as a role model to the girl-child and a practical example of a truism that what a man can do, a woman can even do better.
“So, you will be our Sports Ambassador; I am happy that you said you are not from any other state. You are from Ogun and not from Lagos and you want to come back home. We also want to ensure that you come back home.
“We want to assure you that as you come back home, you have a home here in the state. So, in view of that, we are also going to be presenting to you a home in Ijebu-Ode.
“On top of that, we will be giving you a small token, we will be donating to you a sum of five million naira,” he said.
Gov. Abiodun who noted that his administration is on cause to give the Ijebu-Ode Stadium the necessary facelift it needs, said that the call by the star athlete to use the stadium to train whenever she is in the country would further prompt his administration to fast track the rehabilitation of the stadium.
“We are in the process of rehabilitating a few of our sport facilities, I have spoken to the Minister of Sports and a few other people, but, now that we have one of our own who is saying that I want to train in that stadium, that puts us under a lot of pressure to ensure we prioritize Ijebu-Ode stadium because we want you to come and be training in that stadium,” the governor added.
While noting that his administration considers the role of women very important in all spheres of human endeavor, he said that the passing of a law to ensure the full emancipation of women in the state, is the beginning of an era where women get more responsibility.
The governor who noted that youths in the country can combine both sports and education without any disturbance, called on youths in the country to borrow a clue from the world champion who combined both and is doing well for herself.
Governor Abiodun further described athletics as an avenue where discipline, leadership skills and inter-personal relationships can be learnt, adding that “Tobi has been able to succeed through a lot of discipline, hard work, persistence and a lot of faith in her ability”.
The governor stressed that his administration views the Sport Ambassador and world champion as a point of contact for other youths in the country who have lost faith in what hardwork, persistence, faith and diligence can achieve.
He noted that the story of the World, Commonwealth and African Champion would further educate those who still look at the combination of sports and education as a waste of time.
Tobi Amusan, while acknowledging the support of Governor Abiodun towards her success, called on the Federal Government to do more for athletes.
“All thanks to my governor for supporting me and I feel like the Federal Government can do the same when it comes to supporting athletes financially,” she said.
Her coach, Abiola Onakoya also noted that the world champion is already giving back to the society through an athletics development programme named Tobi Abiola Athletics Development in Ogun State.