The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has said his administration would soon commence comprehensive rehabilitation of the Ilaro Township Stadium in preparation for the state’s bid for the hosting of the next edition of the Nigerian Universities Games.
Abiodun who made this known at the grand finale of the 2022 Oronna Ilaro Festival, Agunloye Pavilion, Ilaro, said it the rehabilitation of the stadium would be a fulfillment of the promise he mad to the Olu of Ilaro during last year’s celebration.
“I am committed to the rehabilitation of that stadium to the benefit of our youths, particularly, as we prepare to host the Nigerian Universities Games in 2024 by the grace of God.
“We have bided for that game and we are hoping to win and in preparation for that, we want to make sure that the stadium is ready ahead of the game”, the governor noted.
Abiodun who described the festival as an opportunity to engagement in meaningful discussion for the development of the town, stressed that culture is the thread that holds the fabrics of the community together just as the event is meant to showcase the tradition of the town.
While noting that “culture goes beyond rhetorics as community defines the existence of man and essence of life”, the governor added that the great heroic display of Oronna has continued to be a platform for resilience and selfless services.
He pointed out that the people of Ilaro and the Yewa people in general have continued to support his administration, assuring that government would partner the people in the area of education, health, agriculture and other sectors for a more prosperous state.
He, however, called on the youths to key into the various government empowerment schemes as well as the Agro-Cargo Airport which would provide thousands of employment opportunities to the people.
The governor assured that all projects under construction in Yewaland such as the Ilaro-Owode, Imasayi-Igan-Ikoto-Ayetoro, Atan-Lusada-Agbara roads would be completed and inaugurated before the end of his first term in office.
Abiodun urged with the people in Yewaland to vote wisely during next year’s elections, while admonishing the youths not to allow themselves to be used as thugs by politicians.
Earlier, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, appreciated the state government for its developmental strides which has benefited Ilaro and other parts of Yewaland.
Oba Olugbenle explained that the Orona Ilaro festival which is recognized by the National Tourism Board is a rallying point for the people of Yewaland to showcase and promote their culture and traditions.
He thanked sons and daughters of the town for their contributions towards the development of area, as well as the state government for increasing funds for the hosting of the festival.
The chairman of the occasion and Director General of the National Production Centre, Mr. Kashim Ako, in his address, described Ilaro as an ancient town with rich culture, noting that the Orona Ilaro festival was meant to unite the people and chart a development plan for the town.
He lauded the people of Ilaro for being intelligent and hard working, and who have alsodistinguished themselves in all fields of human endeavours, pledging that the town hall under construction, would be completed in two months.
The Chairman,. Planning Committee of the festival, Lekan Asuni, said that the annual event apart from providing opportunity for the sons and daughters of the town to display their cultural heritage, it is equally a platform for them to gather, rub minds and contribute towards the development of Ilaro in particular and Yewaland in general.
He submitted that Oba Olugbenle’s reign has brought tremendous development to Ilaro, disclosing that the 2022 edition of the festival had new side attractions to make it more glamorous.