The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Tuesday announced a cash reward of N5m and a house to world, Commonwealth and African 100m hurdles champion Oluwatobi Amusan.
The Governor also named Amusan an Ogun State Sports Ambassador.
Abiodun, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, stated, “So, you (Amusan) 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 the sum of N5m.”
Abiodun noted that his administration was on course to giving the Ijebu-Ode Stadium the necessary facelift it needed.
He added that the call by Amusan, the women’s 100m hurdles world record holder, to train at the stadium whenever she was in the country, would further prompt his administration to fast track the renovation 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 prioritise the Ijebu-Ode stadium because we want you (Amusan) to come and train at that stadium,” the Governor added.
Abiodun also said his administration considered the role of women very important in all spheres of human endeavour, adding that the passing of a law to ensure the full emancipation of women in the state, would usher in an era where women would get more responsibilities.
The Governor stressed that his administration viewed Amusan as a point of contact for other youths in the country that had lost faith in hard work, persistence and diligence. He noted that the Ogun-born athlete’s story would educate those who still viewed the combination of sports and education as a waste of time.
In her remarks, Amusan, while acknowledging the support of 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 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 was already giving back to the society through an athletics development programme named the Tobi/Abiola Grassroots Sports Development in Ogun State.