Fashola Hands Over Second COWLSO Built Recreation Centre
…Expresses delight at FIFA U-17 arrangements as Lagos gives free tickets
Oct 21, 2009 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Wednesday handed over the second newly completed sports recreation centre constructed by the Council of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) at Amoo Street Agege with a pledge that the State Government will build more of such facilities across the state.
Coming barely seven days after handing over a similar facility in Oworonshoki, Governor Fashola who spoke at the Amoo street, Orile Agege venue of the event before an appreciative crowd of residents added that the State Government would soon hand over the new Agege Stadium to the residents once work is completed on it.
He said the same would be done about the Campos Square on which work has been completed just as the administration will ensure that the major divisions like Badagry, Epe and Ikorodu also have their stadia constructed.
He urged all Local Governments in the State to complement the effort of the State Government by constructing mini stadiums and sports grounds while the state concentrates on major stadia.
The Governor advised that a system should be put in place to ensure that the young ones make use of the sporting facilities at the recreation centres in turn, so that their sporting prowess can be discovered.
He reiterated that sports has become big business and is one of the means of achieving telling grass to grace or rag to riches stories just as it has happened with players like Yobo Joseph, Obafemi Martins, Kanu Nwakwo, Austin Okocha and Kanu Nwakwo.
Governor Fashola added that many of such talents abound in Agege area, adding that without stadiums or playing grounds to practice, the several talents will never be discovered.
Said he: “While the rich and wealthy can afford to send their children or wards to private sports clubs in Lagos, the poor cannot. It is only sports facilities like this one that provides the opportunity for the poor and for equal development of raw talents”.
Governor Fashola also said Government at all levels must follow the COWLSO lead by investing in public sports centres not only to give the poor and underprivileged a chance to excel in sports but because they are also theatres of rehearsals.
The Lagos State helmsman also expressed delight that with a few days to the commencement of the FIFA U-17 World Cup tournament in Nigeria, all the arrangements are proceeding smoothly with the participating teams arriving safely in Lagos and all officers at entry points discharging their duties with a smile.
He reiterated that the administration will ensure that opportunity is provided for every resident of the state in all the 57 Local Government Councils and Development Areas to watch the tournament by providing free tickets.
Governor Fashola emphasized that all those who get the tickets should ensure that they watch the matches and not resort to reselling the tickets for profits, adding that FIFA frowns at such act.
The Governor, who renamed the recreation centre as Oba Sanni Komolafe Memorial Sports Centre, commended the Council of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) for the wonderful support it has been providing to the administration and described them as the women behind the throne.
He also commended the people of Orile Agege for turning out in large numbers to witness the event, while describing their overwhelming presence as very humbling to him.
Speaking earlier, the wife of the Governor and Chairman of COWLSO, Mrs Abimbola Fashola said the Orile Agege playing ground just like the Oworonshoki playing ground is one of the dividends of the 2007 and 2008 National Women Conference.
She added that the two new centres just like the seven others already provided by COWLSO in the different parts of the State have been donated for the use of the people within the communities particularly for the physical development, empowerment and education of the youths.
She called on the people of the community to ensure that the recreation centre is well maintained and kept clean at all times.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Sports and Youth Development, Dr Dolapo Badru said the activities of COWLSO have become worthy of emulation because it has assisted the government providing basic sports and recreation facilities.
He added that so far, the State Government has built 44 Youth centres across the state and enjoined well meaning organizations to join the government in building a new Lagos of the dream of everyone.
He said Governor Fashola has approved the composition of the management team of the recreation centre to ensure an upkeep of the facility and will include representatives of the Community Development Associations (CDAs), Residents Association, Youth Associations, the Local Government, COWLSO and a resident youth development officer.
In his address, the Chairman of Orile Agege Local Council Development Area, Mr Taofeek Adaranijo said with the initiative of Mrs Abimbola Fashola on the recreation centre, the dream of many years of residents of the area have come to fruition.
While responding on behalf of the community, the Agege Local Government Chairman of the Action Congress, Mr Bashir Abanikanda thanked the Governor for bringing the dividends of democracy to the area, adding that his governance is being felt in many areas.
Governor Fashola later cut the tape to hand over the recreation centre which he also renamed as Oba Sanni Komolafe Memorial Sports Centre, Orile Agege, in recognition of the late Monarch’s support for the project, while being flanked by his wife and COWLSO officials.
Prominent among those who attended the event were wife of the first Civilian Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Abimbola Jakande, a representative of Chief (Mrs) Oluremi Tinubu, Mrs Olaide Ogunsulire, traditional rulers and members of COWLSO.