Left: Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria ,Charles Kie; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; Wife of Edo State Governor, Betsy Obaseki; Member,House of Representatives, Hon Prestige Ossy and Deputy Governor,Edo state,Philip Shaibu,at the 10Km Okpepe Road Race in Auchi,Edo State…at the weekend.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki at the weekend completed the 10km Okpekpe Road Race in 86.4 minutes to fulfill his promise to run for We Care Trust Charity.
Hot on his heels were Deputy Governor Phillip Shaibu, who completed the race in 86.7 minutes and former governor Adams Oshiomhole, who completed the race after 87.3 minutes of perspiration.
Speaking after the race, Governor Obaseki said he would set up a sports commission backed up by the law to reposition sporting activities in the state.He said: “The focus is strictly in ensuring that there is development of sports in Edo State. I decided to run for orphanage. We have more than 30 of them in Edo State. Some chose to run for cancer to raise money for the cure, some students of AAU decided to run against cultism.”
He added that it was also an opportunity to draw attention to areas and issues of concern, adding that the serenity and safety in the area could also attract investors planning to work with local resources.
In addition, the state governor reiterated that the race had created added value and prosperity to the people.He said: “It was a challenge getting to Okpekpe before it was constructed. Today, we have a free and motorable road. We have International people who have come to run in Okpekpe to this city and town.”
Meanwhile, former Governor Adams Oshiomhole expressed delight for witnessing the fifth edition of the race.“There were a lot of people who thought that once Comrade Oshiomhole is out of office the Okpekpe race will be out of the way. The point I really want to amplify is for us to appreciate what Obaseki has done by his own participation by coming here to give affirmative action or expression to put commitment to continue to guard our votes because that is the problem of Nigeria.
“ So, I am happy that the programme has outlived my own tenure of office and that is the way it should be,” he explained. Other participants including member representing Egbado South/Ipokia Federal Constituency in Ogun State, Adekunle Abdulkabir Akinlade and the Minister of Sport and Youths Development, Solomon Dalung appreciated the quality put into the preparation that led to the success of the event. The minister called for the sustainability of the event to promote sports in the country.
He appreciated the hospitality of the people of Edo State and also participants running for various causes, saying this determination will promote sports in Edo State and by extension Nigeria.
“Okpekpe tradition is unique and I call on private sectors to key into the programme to improve it.”Ethiopians swept the first, second and third prices in the male category. Luwe GabriSelassie won the cash price of $15,000 finishing at 29:28 seconds, followed by Dawit Ammosu in second place to win $10,000 with 29:34 seconds and Jemeti Bebeti ($7,000 dollars) 32:22 seconds.
In the women category, Gedre Azemo (Ethiopia) won the first price, Veronica Maiya (Kenya) came in second place, while the third place went to another Kenyan, Tibiti Alice.