Governor Ambode Receives ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy In Lagos

Governor Ambode Receives ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy In Lagos

…Wants Sport Intensified In Secondary Schools

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday received the 2019 World Cup Trophy of the International Cricket Council (ICC), with a pledge to come up with action plan to institutionalize Cricket in Secondary Schools across the State.

Speaking at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja when he officially received the ICC Trophy for the World Cup scheduled to be hosted in June by England and Wales, Governor Ambode, who played the game while in Secondary School, said it was important to initiate programmes to escalate the sport in the country, adding that the best way to start was to make it interesting to young ones.

He said aside the game itself, Cricket fields were well cherished all over the world, and that it was necessary for something to be done to develop the sport in the country, especially in Lagos State renowned to be the Cricket capital of Nigeria, adding that the core fundamentals of the game were necessary to inculcate leadership, team spirit and discipline in the youths.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right); being presented with a Cricket jersey by the President, Nigerian Cricket Federation, Prof. Yahaya Ukwenya (left) during the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour to the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right); being presented with a Cricket jersey by the President, Nigerian Cricket Federation, Prof. Yahaya Ukwenya (left) during the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour to the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.

“I’m delighted that Lagos State is actually part of the success story of Cricket. Yes, we have supported the Nigerian Cricket Federation (NCF) but again we can still do more and what is more important is to see that while this competition is going on, we believe strongly that whatever it is that we can still do to institutionalize Cricket in our Secondary schools and in other places, the Sports Commission should just go ahead and see how that can be done.

“I want to also commend the Federation because I understand that there is a Cricket Clinic coming up tomorrow for school children also, and that is the beginning of how this thing can be activated and we believe that should also be institutionalized so that we can have more people playing the game,” Governor Ambode said.

The Governor, who also expressed great delight to receive the trophy, said although the game was not seriously understood by Nigerians, but that the camaraderie, sportsmanship and other key attributes of the game were important to play up.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with President of Nigerian Cricket Federation, Prof. Yahaya Ukwenya during the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour to the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with President of Nigerian Cricket Federation, Prof. Yahaya Ukwenya during the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour to the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.

“I feel seriously honoured to be receiving this cup. I’m deeply honoured also that this is happening while I’m still the Governor of this State. It is like bringing the cup back home because it is something I have always cherished right from Secondary School.

“This is a big moment for me because I used to be the wicked keeper in Secondary school. I’ve always cherished the kind of sportsmanship and the kind of camaraderie that goes with Cricket. It is a game not deeply understood by Nigerians but it is a game that actually teaches you leadership, team spirit, discipline and all sorts because you need to stay somewhere and keep changing for almost like 8 hours, 10 hours unlike other sports that you just use one and half hour and everybody will go home.

“So, it inculcates into you something that I think I stand for and something I would also like to leave as part of the legacy here that you can be anything you want to be and that is what Cricket also teaches you,” he said.

Recalling his experience with President Muhammadu Buhari last Saturday when they both landed at the Cricket Pitch in the Pavilion and the President was asking whether Cricket was still being played there, Governor Ambode said the development was a pointer to the fact that something must be done to develop the sport in the country and take it to the future.

Earlier, leader of the delegation and President of the Nigerian Cricket Federation, Professor Yahaya Ukwenya said Nigeria was chosen as part of the three countries in Africa to receive the trophy, while Lagos State is the only State in the country to officially host it.

He said in the last 18 months, a lot of achievements had been recorded in the game in the country, adding that Lagos State, as the Nigerian Cricket capital, had been very supportive in attaining the feats.

Lagos Marathon: Ethiopians Dislodge Kenyans As Winners Of Top Prizes

Lagos Marathon: Ethiopians Dislodge Kenyans As Winners Of Top Prizes

…Ambode Gifts Upcoming Artiste N2,5m, Says Road Race Has Come To Stay

…As Over 100,000 Athletes From 58 Countries Participate In 2019 Edition  


East Africans on Saturday retained their dominance of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon carting away the star prizes in the male and female categories of $50,000 each.


This time around, however, an Ethiopian, Sintatehu Legese won the star prize of $50, 000 in the male category finishing the race in 2 hours, 17 minutes and 28 seconds to beat defending champion, Joshua Kiprotich from Kenya who breast the tape in 2 hours, 18 minutes and 16 seconds to emerge first runner up with a prize money of $40,000.


Kiprotich’s compatriot, William Yegon came third in the time of 2 hours, 19 minutes and four seconds, winning $30,000.


In the female category, it was a clean sweep for Ethiopia as the trio of Meseret Dinke, Alemenesh Herpha Guta and Kebena Chala finished first, second and third to win $50,000, $40,000 and $30,000 respectively.


Gideon Goyet was the first Nigerian to cross the finishing line in 2 hours, 30 minutes to win N3million, beating last year’s champion, Iliya Pam to second place, with a prize money of N2million.


Speaking while presenting prizes to the winners, Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode said it was gratifying that the marathon was getting bigger and better yearly, adding that the competition had come to stay.


He specifically appreciated all Lagosians for cooperating with government to ensure success of the tournament each year since it began four years ago, saying the initiative was basically in line with the determination of his administration to use sports, tourism and entertainment to promote Lagos and grow the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


“I want to say a big thank you to all Lagosians for tolerating us in the last four years because this is the fourth time we are doing this Lagos Access Marathon and it has been improving year in, year out. This year, we had 58 countries participating and over 100,000 athletes also taking part in this journey.


“The marathon is part of our administration’s initiative to use sports, tourism, entertainment, arts and culture to promote the excellence of Lagos and positively engage the youth. The competition has been getting bigger and better yearly and this year’s edition is exceptional being that it attracted highest participation worldwide and increase in the number of athletes and prizes,” Governor Ambode said.


While expressing optimism that the marathon would be sustained, Governor Ambode urged Lagosians to vote for all the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming general elections from the Presidency to National Assembly and at the State levels.


“I believe strongly that what we have started will be continued by the APC gubernatorial candidate, Jide Sanwo-Olu when he comes in and I believe strongly also that this will take the GDP of Lagos to greater heights.


“Remember next Saturday is presidential election. You know where my heart is and that is four plus four; that is where we are going to be. On March 2nd also, we do the same thing which is to vote all APC candidates in the State. God bless all Lagosians; I love all of you and I remain yours forever,” the Governor said.


Besides, Governor Ambode also used the occasion to donate N2.5million to an upcoming artiste, Johnson David who was called to perform on stage from the crowd by Nigerian hip-hop star, D Banj.


“We just want to say a big thank you to D Banj for the opportunity to bring out this kind of talent impromptu. I was just going to say D Banj should mentor him and in addition to that, my initial contribution is to give him N2.5million.


“This is what the Lagos story is all about –if you can dream it, you can make it happen. So, he must have been dreaming it and today he has gotten the access to the Lagos Access Bank Marathon and today, he is a changed person.


“So, this is what we have always been saying; the future belongs to all these young people and you can see that all of you are almost in the same age bracket and this is what the future of Lagos is and what we want to preach and continue to preach that every person can have that opportunity to make it in life,” he said.


The high point of the event was various performances by a-list artistes including Teni, CDQ, Slim Case, Olamide and D Banj who equally seized the opportunity to commend Governor Ambode for initiating and implementing the platform of the marathon and for his achievements in office in the last three and half years.



Governor Ambode Seeks Support For Hitch-Free Lagos Marathon, General Elections

Governor Ambode Seeks Support For Hitch-Free Lagos Marathon, General Elections

…Urges Residents To Report Suspicious Activities

…We’ll Deal Decisively With Lawbreakers, CP Edgal Warns

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday urged residents to cooperate with security agencies in keeping the peace and ensuring safety of lives and property in the build up to the Lagos Access Marathon and the series of political events to herald the forthcoming general elections.

Addressing Government House Correspondents shortly after the Security Council meeting held at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, the Governor said the security agencies have assured that they would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the peace enjoyed in the State would not be compromised.

Governor Ambode, who chaired the meeting which had all heads of security agencies in attendance, particularly sought the cooperation of residents for the Lagos Marathon coming up on February 2, urging them to comply with the restriction of vehicular and human movement which would be observed within the routes for the competition.

“We have just finished the security council meeting this afternoon and as you are all well aware that the general elections is coming up and in another two weeks we would be having the presidential election and then on March 2 we would have the Gubernatorial election and it’s very clear in our minds also that in this month of February, on the 2nd, we would be having the Lagos Marathon and also some political activities that would be coming up at the weekend and throughout the month of February.

“I just want to appeal to Lagosians that just as we have been doing in the past, we have ensured that the Lagos Marathon is very successful and alongside that there would be some kind of vehicular restrictions in some parts of the routes for the marathon.

“The security agencies have assured me that we would keep the peace and make sure that there is proper security of lives and property and also ensure that we have a hitch free marathon. I want to assure Lagosians that they should just keep the city safe and also ensure that whatever restriction that we are going to make on that Saturday, they bear with us and also ensure that within the few hours that the marathon would take place they should also keep the peace,” he said.

Likewise, the Governor said a lineup of political activities in the build up to the February 16 Presidential and National Assembly elections as well as the March 2 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections which would take place in the State, could require some restriction of movement, just as he appealed to residents for understanding.

He also urged residents to report any group or individuals planning to foment trouble in the State to the security agencies, assuring that the peace the State has enjoyed since the commencement of his administration would be sustained.

“I want to appeal to all of us to cooperate with the security agencies, all the head of security agencies are alive to their responsibilities and we need the cooperation of Lagosians to make sure that we have a successful season.

In the last three and half years, you can also notice that security in Lagos has improved tremendously and we intend to keep that for the rest of the year and also ensure that whenever we notice any untoward behaviour or activity from any group please be free to notify any of the heads of security agencies and we would make sure that this city is safe and prosperous,” Governor Ambode said.

Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police in the State, CP Imohimi Edgal said the Police have been holding series of stakeholders’ engagement to carry everybody along, assuring that security agencies were prepared to ensure that the inconvenience as a result of the Marathon and other political activities is minimized.

The CP also warned persons planning to use the series of upcoming activities to cause chaos in the State to desist from such, warning that security agencies are on red alert to deal decisively with such persons if caught.

“Having said that, let me also use this opportunity to inform Lagosians that in the coming days, they would be seeing a lot of police, military and other security agencies operations and activities across the State. Don’t be alarmed, it’s in order to ensure that we have hitch free exercises and anytime you are approached to vacate a location or suspend activities in a location, please cooperate with security agencies,” he said.

Governor Ambode Receives Torch Of Unity For 2019 National Sports Festival

Governor Ambode Receives Torch Of Unity For 2019 National Sports Festival

 Says Sports Remains Veritable Tool For Nigeria’s Unity, Cohesion

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday received the Torch of Unity to herald the forthcoming 19th National Sports Festival coming up in Abuja next month, saying that sports remains a veritable tool to engender the unity and cohesion the nation actually needs.

Speaking at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja after receiving the torch, the Governor said he was glad that the Festival after the last edition hosted by Lagos in 2012 was staging a grand comeback, adding that the State would send a strong contingent of athletes and coaches to the Festival, assuring that representatives of the State would be given all the adequate welfare to excel at the games.

“It is my pleasure to receive the festival torch of unity and this signals the commencement of the 19th National Sports Festival that would take place in Abuja. Just like what we have been told, the last National Sports festival was held here in Lagos six years ago and being the last host, this is the last point of call before the torch goes back to Abuja.

“We have a very strong contingent that we are sending to the festival because we believe strongly that sports is a veritable tool that we can use to command the unity and the cohesion that this nation actually needs at this time.

“I believe strongly that we are not just supporting alone, we believe that all the laurels and winning positions would be taken by Lagos State. On behalf of all our sports men and women, I want to encourage them and assure that we would make their entire stay in Abuja comfortable,” the Governor said.

Governor Ambode also seized the occasion to encourage politicians to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship in the coming general elections, saying that beyond winning at the polls, the real essence of the exercise is to create a stronger bond and cohesion among Nigerians.

He said like sports where winners and losers would emerge after every competition, those vying for several positions in next year’s election should embrace such mindset.

According to him, “Just like any other competition, we are in a period of campaign and election that is coming, it is competitive, but this is unlike national sports were everybody comes with the spirit of unity and we believe strongly that our politicians should emulate our sports men and women, were we should be able to come with the spirit of sportsmanship, there would be winners and losers but in participating, we are creating that bond and cohesion amongst ourselves.”

Also speaking Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Kweku Tandor said Lagos State would be represented at the Festival by 442 male and female athletes, 81 coaches and 50 other officials including welfare and medicals.

He said the contingent from Lagos would be made up of athletes that have been training and taking part in State organised competitions over the years, adding that it would be profitable on the long run rather than looking for foreign based professionals.

“One of the things that we have refused to do in Lagos is to go all over the world and start looking for athletes to represent us because for us we see the festival not just as a competition, but we see it as a developmental tool and it’s for us, a measure of the work that we have been doing over the years in developing our athletes,” he said.

Earlier, South West Zonal Coordinator, National Sports Festival, Mr. Olufemi Ajao who presented the Torch of Unity to the Governor, thanked him for according them hospitality, saying that he was hopeful that the State would host the festival again soon.

“The torch has been going round the country, it has been to the 36 States and Abuja. Lagos being the host of the last Sports Festival, the torch has to leave Lagos for Abuja straight away.

“You can remember that after Lagos State hosted, it has been about six years now that we have been postponing it. But with this torch now, it shows that the festival has come to stay, there is no more postponement. I will plead with the Governor if Lagos can host the festival again so that we can come and enjoy the hospitality and the rich culture of Lagos State,” he said.