The paramount ruler of Remoland, His Royal Majesty, Adewale Ajayi, on Tuesday gave his royal blessings to the Value Jet IAU African Championship Remo 2019 scheduled to hold in Sagamu, Ogun on Dec.7.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the paramount ruler gave his blessings during a courtesy call to his palace by organisers of the epoch 50km race, Nilayo Sports Management Ltd., led by Bukola Olopade.
The royal father said that the indigenes of the city were excited about the prospects the race would bring, putting the city and state on the world stage of road race.
“We cannot be more lucky to have this race in Remoland which suggests the reason of having all the kings in Remo around for the visit. It is a good thing to have a good feel of our city for this important race.
“We believe in sports because we see it as a veritable tool for development and we will give all the necessary support; for this reason, I am expressing my gratitude on behalf of all the kings in Remoland to our governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for this opportunity.
“It is one thing for a governor to show interest, another thing is to bring it to fore, our governor has demonstrated intense interest in developing our land with the opportunity to have this race.
“This race as I have been told is the first in Africa in the last 35 years and we on our own side will assist in mobilising our people to give all the support needed,” he said.
The Sagamu monarch also said that the hospitality business would be improved in the ancient town to accommodate all the participants.
“I believe that we will do more in accommodating the athletes and other people during the race because our hoteliers will have more to do to accommodate our sportsmen.
“Another important thing to note about the race is that, out of coincidence, the race will be on during the second coronation anniversary of the Akarigbo of Remoland.
“We also have in this city, one of the biggest export in athlete in Nigeria in person of Falilat, Ogunkoya, we cannot but count ourselves lucky,” he said.
The representative of the Governor, Yinka Ogundimu, said that the state government had set mechanism in motion for the successful hosting of the ultra race.
“To the glory of God, the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, is so much concerned about sports especially about this race happening at this time which is not a coincidence.
“In Ogun State, we believe that sports is a unifying factor because it cuts across gender, religion and political divide. It is for unity and peace.
“The state supporting these two consecutive races is something to be proud of. We are using every opportunity to develop sports especially when it comes to sports because of its youth appeal,” she said.
The organiser and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nilayo Sports, Bukola Olopade, said it was important for the organisers to have the royal blessings.
“The tournament means a lot to us, and that is the reason we needed a royal blessing which suggests the reason we came for royal courtesy call and blessings.
“We all witnessed the successes recorded at the Abeokuta Marathon which also had a royal blessings from the paramount ruler of Egbaland. So we are here for the Akarigbo’s royal blessings.
“In terms of size, Remo race is bigger in a way, because it is 50km and much longer, but we also have a fun race of 5km, so because it is longer, we expect a lot of entertainment and we will also have the school children in the stadium as well,” he said.
NAN reports that the 50km ultra race winners of the race would go home with 2,000 dollars, second place runner will be 1,500, dollars richer, while the third place winners will pocket 1,000 dollars.
For Nigeria local 5km run, the winner will receive N500,000, first runner-up will have N300,00, while the second runner-up will take home N150,000.