History will be made on Friday December 10th, as the state chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) role out drums to celebrate excellence in sports performance, especially in the year under review.
Kwara State Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq tops the honours’ list, as he will be decorated with “Platinum Award”, in recognition of his development of humanity through sports.
In a statement by SWAN, and signed by its Secretary, Olayinka Owolewa, they described Governor AbdulRazaq as a trailblazer who has completely changed the narratives in sports development in Kwara and Nigeria.
According to SWAN the Governor has continued to add value to sports with the renovation of sports facilities and construction of new ones, as well as provision and encouragement of the enabling atmosphere in sports and youth development.
Tagged “Celebration of Excellence in Sports Development and Promotion”, the SWAN Award Night is expected to come up at the Banquet Hall A of the Kwara Hotel Limited, Ilorin, on December 10th, 2021, beginning from 4.00pm.
Also expected to receive award is the Deputy Governor, Mr. Kayode Alabi, who is also a sports-loving administrator.
The award covers seven categories, which includes that of the Royal Class, for their royal support for sports; philanthropists; corporate individuals and organizations; journalists; athletes, coaches and Organizing Secretaries.
The sports writing body will, in line with it’s mandate, as spelt out in Article 16 (h) of SWAN Constitution, hold investiture for new Pillar of Sports in the state, Sir (Prince) Oladimeji Ladi Thompson, and also install new Patron.
In the Royal Class are His Royal Highness, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji (Dr) Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, His Royal Highness, the Elerin of Erin-Ile, Oba AbdulGaniyu Ajibola Ibrahim MFR, Olusookun II, His Royal Highness, Oba Ajibola Ademola Julius, the Olusin of Ijara-Isin, the Olukotun of Ikotun, Oba AbdulRazaq Abioye and the Olojoku of Ojoku, Oba AbdulRazaq Adegboyega Afolabi.
Recognitions will also be extended to the Executive Chairman of the Kwara State Sports Commission, Mallam Bola Mogaji, Kumbi Titiloye, the Chairman of Kwara United Football Club, Miss Eniola Mariam Bolaji, who won gold for Nigeria in SL 3 World Badminton in Spain, Chief Alloy Chukwuemeka, (the Nwachigoziri 1), who is the Executive Secretary, NPFL Club Owners Association, Alhaji Fariuk Ismail, the Chairman of Kwara Golf Association, the Chief Press Secretary to Kwara Governor, Mallam Rafiu Ajakaiye, Alhaji Mohammed Haruna Maigidansama, the Secretary General of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Rasheed Ismail of the Kwara State Football Referees Council, who was selected as one of the most outstanding referees in the 2020/2021 NPFL season, Coach Abdullahi Usman Biffo, for leading Kwara United FC to a commendable finish in the 2020/2021 NPFL season, as well as Coaches Kabir Sulaiman Dogo and Ali Zubair, both of Wikki Tourists of Bauch and Gombe United respectively.
Others are Mr. Yusuf Abdullahi Adekunle, the Proprietor of AbbreySports FC, Alhaji Afase Babatunde Saliu, the Proprietor of Gidado FC, Mr. Shola Owolabi of Shollamps Oil, Ilorin, Professor Shola Adepoju of D-Kits Concept, Bashorun Kayode Bankole, the Vice Chairman of Kwara State FA, Deacon Mike Atoyebi of Atomike Consultants, Barrister Abdulhakeem Uthman Mustapha (SAN), Engineer Laide Ahmed of Cytek Engineering, Mr Olatunji Mohammed of El-Lado Transport, Arch. Olubunmi Komolafe (Dickalo) of Kwara All Stars family, Mr. Sunday Ojele and Wuraola Mojeed of Kwara Tennis Association, Coach Bola Yusuf, the first Nigeria Captain in Volleyball, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Tuesday Assayomo, and Mallam Mohammed Jimoh Daudu, the Chairman of Pro-Games International.
Also on the long list of awardees are the first democratically elected Chairman of Kwara FA, Mallam Idris Abdullahi Musa, popularly known as Thuraya, Professor Tayo Talabi, Matthew Ezealaji of Joy Sports and Gym Stores Limited.
In the athletes, coaches, Organizing Secretaries and Chairmen’s class, Olufunmayo Gabriel of Squash Association and Sofiat Obanisola of Badminton Association will be honoured alongside the Squash Association, Bashorun Kayode Bankole, wheelchair tennis athlete, Aishat Yahaya, Kwara male Volleyball team, Bello Azeez Kehinde, Abdulfatai Basit of table tennis association, Mistura Durosinlorun of Squash Association, Coach Bilikisu Mogaji and Jide Fatokun, who will be recognized as the Kwara United FC Player of the 2020/2021 NPFL Season.
Late Kwara Badminton Coach and Para-badminton player, Rafiu Bello Oyebanji will also get Post Humus Award.
Among the sports development and sports friendly organizations that will be rewarded are the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON), Kwara Football Academy, Kwara Badminton Veterans Club, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), lube blending organization, Lubcon Limited and Kam Industries Limited.
Topping the list in the journalism world is the great influencer in sports reporting, Bayour Issah, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Sportspro International, Shogo Shodunnke, the Chief Executive Officer of PhreeStyle Sports, Jimoh Bashir of The Herald Newspaper, Jide Oluwaseun of Royal FM, Abdulwaheed Bibire of NTA, Ilorin, Peter Odelana (Peteru Sports) of Sobi FM, sports online platform, sportsbash.com.ng, and Abdul Momoh, one of the finest photo journalists in Nigeria.
Prince Oladimeji Ladi Thompson was in October, appointed as the new Pillar of Sports at a SWAN Congress in October, considering his sterling contribution to the uplift of community and humanity through sports in the state and beyond.
He will the third sports personality to occupy that very important position in the development of sports, after late Chief Adulphus Dubem Okafor, the Asiwaju Nd’Igbo, the Chief Donatus Agu Ejidike, who is now the Nigeria Pillar of Sports.
The Award Night on Friday will be among the largest event by Kwara SWAN, after the last Award Night that held 17 years ago, Friday April 30th, 2004 to be exact, when 13 personalities who included Chief Olusola Adekanola, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde, late Dr. Ayo Bello, late Alhaji Jamiu Babatunde Ojulari and Coach Tunde Kazeem were honoured.