The Chairman of Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC), Hon Olugbenga Edema has said that the commission was developing sports in its mandate area to curb youth restiveness.
Edema stated this when the executives of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN),Ondo State Chapter paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday in Akure.
The chairman said that incidents of kidnapping and restiveness had reduced in the area because the present government was giving attention to issues affecting the people of the riverine areas.
Edema said its OSOPADEC FC did not have a player that was above 22 years of age, because the commission was focussing on catching young talents to have a prolonged career at the national level.
“We have a lot of youths that we manage,but to the glory of God, some years back now, we have not had issues of kidnapping in the area,it is because we decided to engage them with sports.
“It is not that they desire those things (restiveness), it is as a result of neglect, environmental problem, environmental degradation over the years.
“But with the intervention through the amnesty programme and implementation of sporting activities under this government, they will soon be stars.
“That you (SWAN) are identifying things we are yet to achieve means we are doing it right. Our goal is not to win laurels, it is about developing the young people and pushing them to the next level.
“We don’t have players that are above 22, so our goal is to catch them young, soon we are proposing school sports competition amongst schools in the region,” he said.
Edema, however, used the occasion to promise the executives of sports writers in the state of a partnership that would engender development of sporting activities in the riverine areas and the commission in general.
He noted that it was the first time the commission would be hosting members of SWAN since inception.
The Chairman of SWAN in the State, Wahab Bankole applauded Edema for keying into sports as an avenue to develop youths in the area.
Bankole said the association was ready and committed to partnering the commission to promoting all the sporting activities.