Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Sunday felicitated with Heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, for displaying “Ogun standard of excellence” in knocking out Kubrat Pulev in London on Saturday.
Abiodun said the Ogun State-born Joshua made Nigerians proud and restored confidence that in spite of the country’s challenges, the nation would overcome.
“I congratulate Anthony on this successful outing. May he, continue with the winning streak ad infinitum,” Abiodun prayed.
“My joy is unquantifiable. Our government has always dimensioned sports as not only a unifying factor but a socio-economic imperative,” a statement issued by the Governor’s chief press secretary, Kunle Somorin, in Abeokuta said.
The Governor, however, attributed the outcome to the manifestation of God’s love for the people of the State who prayed ceaselessly for AJ and organized rallies and viewing centres to watch the fight live across all the three senatorial districts of the state.
Abiodun said: “God still answers prayers. We return all glory to God Almighty for granting our heart’s desire for our brother, Anthony Joshua, to retain the IBF, WBA and WBO titles.
“All of us in the state, irrespective of our religious affiliations prayed for his success. That the feat happened in London, last night can be regarded as a worthy Christmas gift from God and AJ to all of us in Ogun State. God answered us.”
Abiodun also lauded Joshua for his determination, hard work, resilience and focus, which he described as virtues ingrained in the DNA of Ogun people.
“He has made us proud by exhibiting these traits and the can-do spirit of Ogun people,” Abiodun said, adding that the victory would inspire other sports to do more.
“On our path, we would provide the necessary incentives to all our ambitious young men and women to become World Champions in all considerable areas of sports, not only in boxing.
“We are poised to fix our stadia, upgrade facilities, train sportsmen and women, motivate coaches and develop talents starting from the grassroots,” the governor said.
He called on all stakeholders to be concerned about hunting for and developing talents because of sports potential to pull more people out of poverty and tame insecurity, social strife and crimes.