Mr Kazeem Tanimu, Initiator of “7th Republic”, an NGO of Nigerian youths drawn from different background , has commended Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde over the remodeling of the Lekan Salami Stadium into international and FIFA-approved standard.

Tanimu, a youth mobilizer and advocate of good governance across Africa, gave the commendation on behalf of the group in a chat with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, in line with the its defining mantra for good leadership at all levels in Nigeria, the ‘7th Republic’ has always hailed and rally support for any act of selfless leadership geared towards youth empowerment.

He added that “as a coalition of people with no political affiliations and believers in the interest of our dear country and continent, we are proud to identify with any leadership initiative that is people-focused, and that is why we are proud of this giant stride by this Excellency Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.”

“You know sport is a major unifying factor and an instrument for youths empowerment, so an investment in sport is an investment in youths; the future of any nation.

“Greatness in our continent has always begun with the vision of one dedicated servant leader; from Mandela to Rawlings and in those steps with little drops of leadership in the sands of time.

“Now the governor of a state in the most populous black nation is setting a pace in sports development by remodeling a stadium to world-standard.

“Mandela set the precedence for the world cup in South Africa the first time Africa ever hosted it, and Rawlings was key on sports in all facets and this clearly shows sports could guarantee economic development, serve as a unification point and engage the youth meaningfully.

“As Governor Seyi Makinde, relaunches the Lekan Salami stadium on September 1st, the spirit of unification in healthy competition would light up the city of Ibadan and resonate with Nigerians Nationwide,” he said.

Tanimu added that the remodelled stadium would be a springboard for the growth of sports, not just in the state but across the continent, as it would be a choice hosting centre for both national and continental tournaments.

He said the refurbished stadium would be very pivotal in the productive engagement of youths in the state and ultimately curb restiveness, and therefore urged other state government to borrow a clue from the Makinde administration.

Oyo State Government had earlier announced that the reconstructed Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan would be officially opened on September 1.

According to the state government, the Lekan Salami Sport Complex was being upgraded to FIFA standard, with four world-class changing rooms with capacity for 25 players and wet areas with capacity for 11 players at a time.

Other new facilities in the complex to include Doping Control Room, Clinic, Referee’s Room, Match Officials Room and a Youth Centre/Ball Boys Rooms.

It disclosed that the stadium has also, in line with FIFA requirement, been equipped with state-of-the-art Studio, including CCTV facilities that can monitor five-kilometre radius away from the complex and as far as the Ibadan Airport.