HomePolitics TodayDapo Abiodun Names Tunde Onakoya Sports Ambassador for Record-Breaking Chess Marathon

Dapo Abiodun Names Tunde Onakoya Sports Ambassador for Record-Breaking Chess Marathon

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Afor Kenneth 

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has appointed National Chess Master, Tunde Onakoya, as the Sports Ambassador of the State in recognition of his world record-breaking chess marathon campaign at Times Square in New York.

The governor made this announcement during a reception for Onakoya at his office in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Gov. Dapo Abiodun narrowly defeats his opponent Adebutu of PDP in his polling unit.

Additionally, Governor Abiodun revealed the launch of a state-wide chess competition in honor of Onakoya.

Impressed by Onakoya’s remarkable achievement on the global stage, Governor Abiodun praised his determination, resilience, and hard work, highlighting that such feats are only attainable through dedication and perseverance.

“I can see why you continue to be inspiration to many young people across the length and breath of this country. You have gone further by establishing a foundation called the ‘Chess in Slums Africa’ because you are determined to tell your story and encourage other children and get them out of the slums and give them hope and future,” he said.

“Today, we will be officially appointing you as our State Sports Ambassador. Coincidentally, Ogun State will be hosting the National Sports Festival in the next nine months or thereabouts and we are boasting that we are set to host the best National Sports Festival that has never been held in the history of this country and coincidentally, chess is one of the games that will feature in that event.

“I have decided that because of you and in your honour, we will begin an Ogun State Chess Competition across the length and breath of the state. Since you are now officially our Sports Ambassador and our Chess Ambassador, we will leave it to you to design that competition from the local government all the way to the state level.

“But we as your state, we will have a sponsor in the Tunde Onakoya Prize, for the winner of that competition,” the governor explained.

The governor drew parallels between the journey of the Chess Master and the struggles faced by millions of youths across Nigeria striving to carve out a meaningful path in life.

He emphasized that Onakoya’s accomplishments in the face of adversity serve as a testament to the notion that success transcends one’s background, place of birth, or parental status.

Commending Onakoya for his commitment to success without resorting to dishonest practices, the governor lauded him for joining the ranks of distinguished individuals who have brought pride to Ogun State through their achievements in various fields.

Onakoya expressed his profound gratitude to the governor for the unwavering support he received from Nigerians throughout his journey to stardom, emphasizing his pride in being Nigerian.

Reflecting on his upbringing and the challenges he faced, Onakoya shared how he viewed chess as a means to escape poverty and develop critical thinking skills beyond surface-level understanding.

Acknowledging the lack of popularity of chess in Nigeria, Onakoya attributed it to a general misunderstanding of the game’s value.

He revealed his efforts to promote chess in Lagos, Kenya, and other parts of Africa, aiming to bring the game to grassroots levels in collaboration with Lufthansa Airlines.

Onakoya recounted his determination to break the world record, surpassing the previous limit of 56 hours by playing for an astounding 60 hours.

He expressed his gratitude to Governor Abiodun for the honor bestowed upon him and his parents, pledging to collaborate with the government to make chess more appealing to youths.

“I am proud to be a Nigerian and from Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State. I felt highly honoured and happy in the way Nigerians all over the world supported me immensely to achieve this feats and the honour accorded me by our royal fathers and His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, my state Governor,” Onakoya said.

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