Gov. Abiodun Appoints Tunde Onakoya as Sports Ambassador

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has appointed Mr. Tunde Onakoya, the National Master of Chess and the current Guinness World Record Holder for the longest Chess Marathon in history, the Sports Ambassador of the State.
Governor Abiodun, who was impressed with the achievement of the National Chess Master at the global stage, said this could not have been possible without determination and resilience and hard work.
“I can see why you continue to be an 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.
“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 drew parallels between the challenges faced by the Chess Master and the struggles of millions of Nigerian youths striving to carve out a meaningful existence, emphasizing that his accomplishments amidst adversity testify to the impartiality of life, which disregards one’s background, place of birth, or parental status.
He lauded the world’s longest Chess Marathon holder for his determination to achieve success without resorting to questionable means, highlighting that his achievement has placed him among the esteemed individuals who have brought honor to Ogun State through their endeavors. Mr. Onakoya had earlier expressed profound gratitude to the governor for the support he received from fellow Nigerians on his journey to fame, expressing his pride in being Nigerian.
Recalling his upbringing, he recounted the challenges he faced, recognizing chess as a pathway out of poverty and a means to develop critical thinking skills beyond surface levels.
“I am proud to be a Nigerian and from Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, I felt highly honoured and happy in the way Nigerians all over the world supported me immensely to achieve this feats and the honour accorded me by our royal fathers and His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, my state Governor,” Onakoya said.
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