Representatives of the sporting community within and outside Nigeria who were in Ibadan, Oyo State capital for the Ilaji Under-16 National Football Tournament put together by the Youth Sports Federation Of Nigeria (YSFON) and sponsored by the Ilaji Hotels and sports resort lamented the slow pace of the dualised ongoing Olorunsogo-Akanran road.
Ibadan-born sports enthusiast, business mongul and owner of globally-renowned Ilaji Hotel and Sports Resort, Engr Dotun Sanusi is the sponsor of the month-long tournament which ended this week amidst pomp and pageantry.
He had two years ago, single-handedly sponsored a 5-aside international football competition attended by 16 African nations. And since then, the Ilaji Sports which boasts of two international stadiums have been playing host to different local and national competitions.
Expectedly, those who participated in the just concluded competition from across 30 States of the Federation had harrowing experience connecting Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort from the Olorunsogo end of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
Speaking at the grand finale, a foreigner, Coach Benson Carlton who was at the venue to scout for talented footballers, lauded the organisers of the tournament, just as he regretted the harrowing experience he and his team faced while connecting the widely-acclaimed best sporting resort in Nigeria.
According to Carlton, “we have seen great soccer artistry and talents are indeed abound in Nigeria. The owner of this resort, Engr Dotun Sanusi has done a great job for Nigeria, reputed as the most populous black nation of the world.
“Both the Federal and State Governments need to site more institutions around here for the people to utilize this multibillion Naira facility. The road from the expressway though under construction, ought to have been in place long before now.
“I was told the State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde awarded the road and planned extension of same carriage way to this resort. That’s commendable but the contractor should fastrack the road for ease of movement of tourists like me and others who would always come visiting to have a feel of this gangatuan sports complex”, Carlton added.
A Nigerian Coach from one of the States in the North, Moses Adamu appreciated the competing States and the youths that participated for their spirit of sportsmanship in virtually all the competitions.
Adamu added that Nigerian young lads have come of age and therefore called on the Federal Government through the Minister of Sports to ensure regular patronage of Ilaji Hotel and Sports Resort for the investment by this great Nigerian, Chief Dotun Sanusi to be utilized for the promotion and development of our grassroot sports.
A community leader in Ona Ara, Chief Abolade Ogunsina commended the State Governor for taking action to reconstruct, dualise and expand the length of the road to reach Ilaji Hotel and Sports Resort.
One of the residents of Olorunsogo who spoke on the sideline to sports writers, Gbenga Olayiwola said the people living on the road are the worst hit by the slow pace of works by the contractor.
According to Ogunsina, “our experience on this road everyday is unpalatable. Works are ongoing but very slow because we have a number of construction workers who are very experienced as residents and they have at various times condemned the situation we are in.
“Each time His Excellency pays visit to the site, we always notice that the contractor usually speed up the construction works but as soon as the Governor leaves, what we usually observe is slow pace almost at a very low ebb,” Ogunsina alleged the contractor of not doing enough to deliver the road on schedule.
Another landlord in the area who led some communities to watch the grand finale of the event, Mrs Florence Akingbade spoke to corroborate Ogunsina as she lamented that “why is it that each time the Governor scheduled a working visit, the contractor usually mobilise more hands and the reverse becomes the case as soon as the Governor and his team leave this area.
“Are they expecting the Governor to put on the site uniform to do their work for them? This road has become a nightmare for all the people around here,” Akingbade added.
The Chief Operating Officer of Ilaji Hotel and Sports Resort, Prince Adesina Araoye commended all the participating teams and partners of Ilaji from foreign lands and other sports lovers who flew into the country to scout for talents.
Araoye also commended the State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde for awarding the ongoing road project from Olorunsogo to Akanran and extending same to the Sports Resort area.
He stressed that his principal, Engr Dotun Sanusi would always support all the State Government activities geared towards promoting sports and quality lives for the people, adding that, “Chief Sanusi’s respect for the Governor knows no bound and he has vowed to always support every effort of His Excellency to make the State a better place for all to live in,” Araoye added.
Dr. Justin Fenech – President, Sweiqi United FC, Malta could not hide his excitement as his colleagues gave kudos to the boys whose individual talents was amazing.
The National Secretary of YSFON Olorogun Patrick Okpavhuere and Technical director Abdulgafar Agboola appreciated Dotun Sanusi for the sponsorship.