Pa G. B. Ladipo laid to rest amidst encomiums, as KWSG lauds his contributions

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The funeral rites of late Pa Gabriel Babatunde Ladipo was observed in the last four days as the government and the sports fraternity paid the Sports Icon his last respect.

Speaking at the Lying in State and Wake-Keep of the Icon in the Kwara State Stadium Complex on Friday, Professor Timothy Opoola, who represented the Deputy Governor, Mr. Kayode Alabi at the occasion said the government acknowledged the great contributions of late Pa Ladipo to sports development in the state.

While tracing Baba’s contributions to when the state was created, Professor Opoola noted that what the state is enjoying today is what Pa Ladipo, the first Chairman of the Sports Council has contributed to spots development.

He noted that the government and people of Kwara state will continue to remember him for his contributions and selfless service to the development of the state.

In his comments, the Executive Chairman, Kwara State Sports Commission, Coach Bola Magaji described Pa Ladipo as a legend, a Leader, a Father, and an Icon, who was one of the main pillars behind the construction of stadium complex.

Going down memory lane, he pointed out that Pa Ladipo, who was the Principal of of the then great Government Technical Training School (GTTS) Ilorin discovered most athletes across all sports who made the state proud in the past, including himself, was an authority in many sports.

Magaji disclosed that Baba was a table tennis coach in Lagos state and indeed the first national table tennis coach who also impacted his experience in table tennis in Kano state.

“The story of the Stadium Complex will not be complete without mentioning Baba’s name as he and Bode Oyeyemi facilitated the purchase of the land where the stadium was built from the Fagba family in Ilorin, he added.

In his remarks, a frontline FIFA retired referee in the state E. D. Obafemi disclosed that the late Icon was the first FIFA badged referee in the whole Northern Nigeria.

He described Baba as a peacemaker who has contributed a lot in terms of developing and guiding referees including himself, adding that Baba was the reason Kwara Dtate Referees Council is what it is today.

Others who pure encomiums on the late Icon are Hameed Adio, an Olympian, a retired Sports broadcaster from the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) as Manager, a former Commissioner for sports and Director of Sports.

Also in the fold was Saliu Ojibara (Stanley), a prolific footballer in his active days and former FA Chairman in the state, who said that the sports fraternity will miss the great sports Icon.

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