Governor Dapo Abiodun Appoints Tunde Onakoya Sports Ambassador

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has chosen National Chess Master Tunde Onakoya as the state’s Sports Ambassador, following his world record-breaking chess marathon campaign in Times Square, New York.

He revealed this on Thursday, when he met with Onakoya in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta. He also announced the start of the state chess competition, which will be held throughout the state in honor of Onakoya.

The governor, who was impressed by the National Chess Master’s success on the global arena, stated that it would not have been possible without dedication, tenacity, and hard effort.

“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 compared the Chess Master’s journey to that of millions of Nigerian youths struggling to make something of their lives, stating that his accomplishments in the face of adversity are proof that life does not care where one comes from, where one was born, or what one’s parents’ social status is.

He praised Onakoya for his determination to excel without engaging in questionable activities, stating that with this achievement, he has joined the ranks of renowned sons and daughters who have made Ogun State proud in their chosen endeavors.

Onakoya had previously expressed his thanks to the governor for the support he had received from Nigerians during his rise to prominence, adding that he was pleased to be Nigerian.

He also discussed his childhood problems, stating that he regarded chess as a means out of poverty and the ability to think critically beyond the surface.

Onakoya acknowledged chess’s unpopularity in the country, citing a lack of awareness of the game’s worth.

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