The Oyo State Government and some prominent Nigerians on Sunday commended West Midland Communications for its consistency in the hosting of the Ibadan City Marathon Race.
They gave their commendations in separate interviews on the sidelines of the 11th Ibadan City Marathon Race on Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the annual event, which started in 2009, was a project of the communications outfit owned by Chief Adebayo Akande, the Maye Olubadan of Ibadanland.
NAN also recalls that the race had since attracted several sponsors and supporters, including the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Kayrom Lee Limited, Power Oil and Nigerian Television Authority.
Akande had instituted the race with the objective of advocating integrity, good governance, transparency and accountability.
Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State paid tributes to Akande for his vision, doggedness and consistency in the promotion of sports and democratic values in Nigeria.
Ajimobi, represented by Mr Abayomi Oke, the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, said that the theme of the annual event were great hallmarks for democracy.
Mr Toye Arulogun, the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, commended the impressive turnout at the event, adding that tributes must also be paid to the organisers for their consistency in hosting the event.
Arulogun said that the annual event did not only promote sports and democratic ideals, but had gone a long way in promoting tourism and showcasing the state as well as Nigeria to the world.
He pledged that the state government would continue to support the race toward achieving its objectives.
Mrs Romoke Ayinde, the Chief Executive Officer of Kayrom Lee Limited, a fitness outfit, commended the vision and determination of Akande in ensuring the sustenance of the annual event.
Ayinde said that the consistency of the organisers and the objectives of the event inspired her firms’ support.
She commended Akande for instituting the annual event which she said had gone a long way in promoting sports, fitness and democratic ideals.
“I support the event consistently because it has to do with my business which is fitness.
“ I also support efforts to develop talents through a partnership with the National Sports Commission,’’ she said.
Mr Tunde Olawuwo, the Chairman of the Publicity Committee for the event, said he was excited by the turnout, adding that it was higher than previous editions.
Olawuwo, who is the General Manager, Operations, Splash FM/Lagelu FM, said the organisers were more confident of the people’s readiness to support the event as it goes international in the next edition.
“We have been consistent in organising this marathon race due to the vision and determination of Chief Adebayo Akande.
“ We are happy that the vision has come to stay and has been yielding good fruits,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the event was attended by Akande’s wife and former minister, Onikepo, and Hon. Kehinde Ayoola, who represented the governor-elect of the state, Mr Seyi Makinde.
The event also witnessed a minute silence in honour of late Rep. Temitope Olatoye, a sponsor of the event.