The chairman, board of Nigeria Communication Commission, (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande has called for more inclusion of physical education and extracurricular activities as an integral part of our education system, saying the only way to harness youth’s capacities is to catch them young and groom them through the educational system in order to have more world champions.
Akande made the call while hosting the current World Boxing Federations (WBF) Champion, Ridwan ‘Scorpion’ Oyekola, and his team on Sunday at his Ibadan residence.
The Oyo APC gubernatorial aspirant, who was thrilled after listening to the story of the boxer, how he rose from an okada rider to become a world champion in boxing, also described Oyekola’s tale as a Nigerian story that portrayed “irrespective of the challenges we have as a nation, anybody who is focused can get to whatever height sets for himself”.
He stressed, “personally I am excited by his story, rising from an Okada rider to a world champion, he’s the Nigerian story. A model that speaks to the Nigerian youths, that irrespective of the challenges we have as a nation, anybody who is focused can get to whatever height it sets for himself.
“Secondly it shows the capacity of Nigerian youths and places more challenges on the Nigerian government, because the government has a duty to let the citizens be the best they can be and this is an instance of somebody coming from grassroots to conquered the world, so the government has a role to play so that it is not limited to him, there are thousands in Oyo state and hundreds of thousands of him all over Nigeria”.
Continuing, he said “we have to put structures in place to make sure that Nigerians who have these potentials can get to the highest level that their capacities can take them”.
The NCC chief added that he always believed that the way forward for Nigeria is to develop our sports from grassroots, “you cannot begin from the top, Nigerians with great potentials are at the grassroots and that is why we have to go back and make physical education and extracurricular activities an integral part and important of our education system.
“So that it is not enough for a student to do well in English and mathematics but also in sporting activities, as you can see what he has done, he has put Nigeria on the world map and we have hundreds if not thousands of Nigerians who can do that and the only way we can harness that capacity is to catch them young and groom them through the educational system so that they can become world champions not only in boxing but also in athletics, tennis, other sports and all aspects of human endeavor”, he noted.
In his remarks, the CEO of Core Afrique Boxing Promotion (COABOX), Sola Ayodele who doubles as the manager of Oyekola, explained challenges faced before winning the title and challenges they are facing defending it.
He gave details of how Oyekola is to defend his super featherweight WBF belt against an opponent from Georgia, Giorgi Gogatishvili on 31st October in Ibadan and challenge of getting finances to prosecute the bout.