Indigenes of Okpekpe town in Etsako East local government area of Edo state led by the Onweweko of Okpekpe Kingdom,His Royal Highness Apa Peter Osigbemeh
have hailed Pamodzi Sports Marketing, promoter of the annual Okpekpe international 10km road race following the successful organisation of the fifth edition of the race last weekend.
‘The Okpekpe international 10 kilometres road race has brought global recognition to Okpekpe kingdom,’ says Osigbemeh who was among the dignitaries that graced the fifth edition of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Bronze Label event last Saturday in Okpekpe.
‘On behalf of the great people of this kingdom I want to thank the organisers of the race, a proud son of the Okpekpe kingdom and the Edo state government for opening up Okpekpe to the entire world first via the construction of a world class road and also through the race which we have been made to believe is the only IAAF Bronze label race in Nigeria in 2017.This is particularly pleasing to note,’ said the monarch who reveals Okpekpe was a permanent feature in the Nigerian media two months before the race.
‘Nigerians have been reading about Okpekpe in the daily newspapers since two months ago and we have suddenly become the capital of sports in Nigeria.’
Like Oliver Twist the Onweweko of Okpekpe Kingdom wants the organisers of the race to put up permanent structure in the town as a lasting legacy of their noble deed.
‘I also call on indigenes of the town and that of the entire North Ibie to take advantage of the race to build hotels in Okpekpe so that the indigenes can
fully maximise the benefits of the race.I know each year the race boosts the economic activities of not only Okpekpe but other surrounding communities but I will like the town to provide accommodation for both athletes and officials who come for the race and this is only possible if our people can build hotels here,” further remarked the monarch who was accompanied to the event by his Queen,Mrs Julianah Osigbemeh,the Ugu-Ogie of Okekpe kingdom.
Also thrilled that Okpekpe and indeed the entire North Ibie,a large homogenous group of people in the northern part of Edo State is on the map of the world
is Major General (Rtd) Ayuba Shuaibu from Imiegba,one of the communities that make up the North Ibie.
‘The Okpekpe international 10km road race has opened up Okpekpe in particular and North Ibie in general for development.The whole world now knows there is a
place called Okpekpe and it is for a good reason.We have become one of the big communities in Edo state,’says the retired army general.
The race is organised by Pamodzi Sports Marketing,leaders in sports marketing and hospitality business in Nigeria.
Ethiopans Leul Gebriesialse (29:28) and Gabru Azemra (33:59) emerged the winners of the $15,000 top prize money on offer for the men and women’s race to end Kenya’s two-year domination of the event.