The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Wednesday, received the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Welterweight Champion, Kamaru Usman, also known as ‘the Nigerian Nightmare,’ who hails from Edo State.
Receiving the UFC champion, who was accompanied by friends and family members, at the Government House, in Benin City, the governor reassured that his administration will sustain reforms and programmes to ensure that more young people in the state thrive and realise their potentials to the fullest.
Obaseki, who was represented by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu, said Kamaru Usman has made the state and country proud with his achievements, promising to collaborate with the welterweight Champion to make champions out of Edo youths.
According to him, “We are happy today to receive you and are very proud to have you as our own. We are specifically happy to have you at a time that we are bringing back the sports’ glory of the state.
“Edo used to be home of sports, as most of our sports administrators passed through the school of sports in the state. Over time, they went to sleep; but this administration is reviving sports in the state and restoring its lost glory.”
“We used the just concluded National Sports Festival to relaunch ourselves back into sports and your coming at this time is a boost to sports development in the state. Sports is good for our health and we will encourage the young ones to get more involved as they can become great through sports.”
“You are a role model to the younger generation to emulate. We will continue to support people like you because you can be a promoter of sports for the state. You are someone to look up to in the state and nation at large,” he noted.
The governor, who described combat sports as a ‘disciplined sport’, urged youths to embrace sports to stay off crime.
“I developed an interest in combat sports and discovered that it’s a sport of discipline. If all our youths can be disciplined in their field, it will help us check the country’s criminality rate.
“As a state, we will collaborate with you and continue to support you. Our administration is working hard to combine education with sports, which prompted us to ensure reforms of the education and sports sectors.
“We would like to partner with you to see how you can join us and make champions out of our youths,” he added.
Earlier, the UFC welterweight champion, Usman expressed delight to be in the state, his home state, after many years in the United States, noting, “I am happy to be here and it’s a pleasure to be back home. Coming home has been at the back of my mind and I am proud to be from Auchi, Edo State. I have been in America for long and feel so compelled to represent the country; I feel compelled to carry on the pride.
“It’s been a while and I have been waiting to come back home and hopefully, will come home more frequently.”