It was truly a celebration of Surulere homeboy, Femi Gbajabiamila by his people when the lawmaker extraordinaire, who is the Speaker of the House of Representatives marked his 59th birthday on June 26, 2021.
The celebration which was marked with pomp and pageantry was a token of appreciation by the constituents for the impactful representation of Surulere 1 Federal constituency that the 5th term lawmaker has provided.
A representation that has been felt in the areas of healthcare delivery, education, infrastructure provision as well sports among others.
It was no surprise that on Friday, being a sport-living community, football was chosen to mark the day for the Speaker.
Tagged; Surulere Sports City Fiesta, the event kicked off in a grand style at Paddington Field, one of the four mini-stadia facilitated by Gbajabiamila in Surulere 1 Federal constituency with the Special Assistant on Youth Matters to Rep Femi Gbajabiamila, All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders, stakeholders, coaches and managers of each participating teams present for the flag-off.
To display the importance attached to the carefully planned celebration, each participating team adorned their branded jersey in appreciation of the fact that Sports is a complete phenomenon; a life philosophy that encompasses the healthy combination of body and mind for who believes in the values of sport such as equality, respect of the other.
Gbajabiamila has always been a believer in sports as a major catalyst for the social-cultural, political and economic development of the people, a reason for his investment in sports development in his Surulere 1 Federal constituency over the years.
Besides the fanfare nature of the event and discovery of young new talents in Surulere, the day’s games were equally aimed at serving as an avenue for advertising and promoting small-scale business owners, who are willing to thrive and compete locally and globally as a brand from Surulere.
According to Gbajabiamila, his matra, ‘Nation Building: A Joint Task’ as the Speaker of the House House of Representatives, was also defined by his belief that sports break all the barriers of discrimination based on colour, caste, creed, and religion while providing better social interaction among people Sports bind people from all walks of life and create a mutual understanding and relationship among them, in addition to providing a platform for fostering a spirit of nationalism
Being understanding and supportive constituents, the organizers of the birthday celebration ensured that the Sports City Fiesta included Chess games, Table tennis, Draft games, and Scrabble as well as football.
The highest points in the board games were considered the winner while the football game featured each Ward with their teams that included Sharks FC – Ward E; Enyimba FC – Ward G2; Warri Wolves FC – Ward F1; Sunshine Stars FC – Ward G3; Lobi Stars FC – Ward F3; Stationary FC – Ward E1; Rangers FC – Ward G1; Kano Pillars FC – Ward F2; and MFM FC – Ward G.
A host of invited club sides located in Surulere like Al haly FC; Crown FC; Mamelodi Sundowns FC; Zamalek FC; Ark of oak FC; Orlando Pirates FC; and Shooting Stars Fc also took part in the tournament
The games were held simultaneously at Paddington Mini Stadium and Love Garden Mini Stadium for two days where Mamelodi Sundown FC took the gold with Kano Pillars FC as runner up took the 2nd position.
Taylor Adebayo (Ward E) took the Puska award with 5 goals.
And the winner of the Table Tennis game at Paddington are;
Akinola Tosin (Ward F1) took the gold in Table tennis at Paddington Mini Stadium while Akinsanya Sanni (Ward G3) won the Draft game.
At Love Garden Mini Stadium, Shark E FC took the gold against Warri Wolves FC while Olaribigbe Hakeem (Ward G) won the Scrabble game against Tunji Sulaimon (Ward F1)
Best Female player was won by Osibote Omotayo (Ward G) while the Chess game was won by Bunmi Olape (Ward F3) with the Best Female award going to Oladiti Pelumi (Ward G)
The Nigeria Children Cultural Heritage (NCCH) added colour to the fanfare with a beautiful drama performance with a message that Nation Building is a long walk that requires commitment and dedication, but achievable with team spirit.