Mr Abayomi Oke, the newly appointed Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Oyo State has commenced a total overhauling of the state’s sports sector, calling on stakeholders to support the effort.
He disclosed on Friday evening at a news conference in his office that the sector would be totally overhauled to return the state back to its enviable heights in sports.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that Oke, the son of Chief Akin Oke, the All Progressives Congress(APC) Chairman in the state was a former Special Assistant to Gov. Abiola Ajimobi during his first term.
Oke said that he was interested in the development of all the various sports in the state and not only football, urging sports associations and stakeholders to come up with proposals.
“I am interested in youth and age-group sports, particularly the under13 and 17. I want to see sports development through organisation of competition at the ward, local government and state levels.
“This is going to be with private sector involvement. We will leverage on contacts, contribution and support.
“We will imbibe the sports development model of Lagos. I have linked up with Lagos to garner such ideas and we will implement such here too to develop sports in the state,” he said.
He said that the ministry was ready to partner with stakeholders in bringing investors to develop infrastructure and the various categories of sports across the state.
Oke said that the ministry was seriously working with the management of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), Crown Football Club, Oyo Football Association and the supporter’s club on the development in football.
He said that the players were owed salaries as a result of paucity of fund in the country, saying that they were working round the clock to ensure that the match bonuses of the players, including outstanding are paid.
“We have met with the supporter’s club and thinking of how we can run football through self-funding. We have identified that government cannot do it alone.
“We will ensure that we develop our football and other games to taste. We won’t leave out the female football in this.
“We are appealing to sports stakeholders and enthusiasts to support us in the development of sports across the state. The support is not limited to football but any sports,” he said.
Oke, who said that the governor had frowned at the mismanagement of the gate-takings at the stadium during matches, said that it was not going to be business as usual.
“The governor frowned at the way monies generated from league matches is been paid into one man’s pocket. We have developed various strategies for implementation and will start this Sunday,” he said.
He called on newsmen to ensure excellent and accurate reportage, saying his doors are open for proposals, synergy, comments and reactions on various sport issues.
Oke assured newsmen of an habitable press box at the stadium, saying the facelift of the box was ongoing for Sunday’s match.
NAN reports that 3SC would on Sunday play host to Ifeanyi Ubah FC in the Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL). (NAN)