Meanwhile, former Governor Adams Oshiomhole expressed delight for witnessing the 5th Edition of the race.
Obaseki, Shaibu, Oshiomhole others complete 10km Okpekpe race
AGENE GODWIN, Benin
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Saturday, 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 (others) chose to run for cancer, to raise money for the cure, some students of AAU decided to run against cultism.”
He continued 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”.
” 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’m happy that the programme has outlived my own tenure of office and that is the way it should be”, he explained.
The Honorable Minister of Sport and Youths Development Solomon Dalong appreciated the quality put into the preparation that led to the success of the event calling 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 the private sector to key into the programme to improve it.
In the male categories elite Ethiopian runners swept the first, second and third prizes.
Luwe Gabriel Salassi won the cash price of 15,000 dollars finishing at 29:28 sec followed by Dawit Ammosu in second place with 10,000 dollars with 29:34sec and Jemeti Bebeti (7,000 dollars) 32:22sec.
In the women category Gedre Azemo (Ethiopian) won the first price, Veronica Maiya (Kenyan) came in second place while the third place went to another Kenyan Tibiti Alice.