Opeyori, Olufia grateful to Lagos Govt for opportunity given to showcase talent in Badminton

Anuoluwapo Opeyori and partner, Godwin Olufia are products of Lagos State Sports Commission’s grassroots development programme over the years and they are living testimony in the grooming factory that Lagos State Government had overtime invested on.

Anuoluwapo Opeyori and partner, Godwin Olufia are products of Lagos State Sports Commission’s grassroots development programme over the years and they are living testimony in the grooming factory that Lagos State Government had overtime invested on.

The performance of the two players in national competitions has always resulted in golden results.

They made it gold for Lagos in the last National Sports Festival in Abuja in 2018, winning Team Gold in the male badminton event. They also made it gold in the same event in the ongoing Edo 2020 NSF in Benin City on Tuesday.

Opeyori was so thankful to God for giving them this victory and more importantly, the Lagos State Government which provided the enabling environment for them to showcase their talent in Badminton for the state.

He said after the golden outing on Tuesday : “I thank God and I am so much happy that myself and partner Godwin Olufia won the gold medal in the Team Event of Badminton back to back. At the last National Sports Festival in Abuja, we won gold and now in Edo, we won gold again.

“This golden outing did not come on a platter of gold. It was as a result of hard working and rigorous training. We thank the Lagos State Government for giving us the opportunity and we are proud to be representing the state.

“We are both products of Lagos State Sports Commission grassroots developmental programmes.”

Opeyori boasted that in the double event, the duo will win nothing less than a gold medal.

“We hope to win another gold medal in the doubles Event,” he said.

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.