Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, yesterday, completed the 10km Okpekpe Road Race in 86.4 minutes to fulfill his promise to run for the orphanage ‘We Care Trust Charity.’
Hot on his heels were Deputy Governor Phillip Shaibu, who completed the race in 86.7 minutes and former governor Adams Oshiomhole, who completed the race after 87.3 minutes of perspiration. Speaking after the race, the governor said he would set up a sport commission backed-up by the law to reposition sporting activities in the state.
He said: “The focus is strictly in ensuring that there is development of sports in Edo State. I decided to run for the orphanages.
We have more than 30 of them in Edo State. Some chose to run for cancer to raise money for the cure, some students of AAU decided to run against cultism.”
He continued that, it was also an opportunity to draw attention to areas and issues of concern, adding that the serenity and safety in the area could also attract investors planning to work with local resources. In addition, the state governor reiterated that the race had created added value and prosperity to the people.
Meanwhile, former Governor Adams Oshiomhole expressed delight for witnessing the 5th edition of the race. “There were alot of people who thought that once Comrade Oshiomhole is out of office the Okpekpe Race will be out of the way.
The point I really want to amplify is for us to appreciate what Obaseki has done by his own participation by coming here to give affirmative action or expression to put commitment to continue to gaurd out votes because that is the problem of Nigeria. “So, I’m happy that the programme has outlived my own tenure of office and that is the way it should be,” he explained.
The Hourable Minister of Sport and Youth Development, Solomon Dalong appreciated the quality put into the preparation that led to the success of the event calling on the sustainability of the event to promote sports in the country. He appreciated the hospitality of the people of Edo State and also participant running for various causes saying this determination will promote sport in Edo State and by extension Nigeria. “Okpekpe tradition is unique and I call on private sectors to key into the programme to improve it.
In the male categories for elite Ethiopian swept the first, second and third price. Leul Gabriesialse won the winner’s cash prize of $15,000 finishing at 29:28 sec followed by Dawit Fikadu in second place who pocketed $10,000 with 29:34sec and Jemeh Bekele ($7,000) 32:22sec.
In the women’s category Gedre Azemo (Ethiopia) placed first, Veronica Maiya (Kenya) came in second place while the third place went to another Kenyan Tibiti Alice.
The Nigerian race was won by little known Jigak Monday recording 31 mins 53secs in the men’s class, while perennial women’s champion, Deborah Pam, won again making it the fifth title in 38mins 15secs. She also finished seventh overall.