The Ibadan Youth Progressive Indigene Association (IYPIA) has condemned the presence of the ‘Friend of Ibadan Award’ to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare, saying that the minister has not contributed anything meaningful to Ibadanland that’s befitting of such honour.
The group asserted that though it has the highest regard for the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), which honoured the minister, they strongly believe that the award of ‘Friend of Ibadan’ to Dare was politically motivated and misplaced.
The president of the group, Aare Alao Olalekan, charged the organisers of the award to list a single thing that Dare has done for Ibadanland to make him deserve the honour of being recognised as a friend of Ibadan.
The group added that apart from the fact that Dare cannot list anything meaningful he has done in the lives of Ibadan indigenes, the continued neglect of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan and lack of federal presence in Ibadan in the areas of youth and sports developments are evidence that the honour is unmerited.
Further, he urged Dare to mention how many Ibadan indigenes have benefitted from his Ministry, stating that the Minister should have been honourable enough to reject the award for the mere fact that he “does not deserve it.”
The statement read in part: “We read with amusement the recent conferment of the “Friend of Ibadan Award” on the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare. The honour, to say the least, is misplaced.
“While we hold the CCII in high esteem, we believe that such a noble award should not be politically motivated.
“Mr Dare has done nothing to justify this award; we challenge the organisers of the award and Dare himself to point out what he has done for Ibadanland or Ibadan people to deserve this noble honour.
“As it is, the obvious award that should have been given to Dare is “Political Friend of Ibadan” in justification of whatever favours he must have done to the few organisers because the Minister cannot in honesty justify this honour.
“As a proof of our displeasure to the undeserved honour, the Liberty Stadium (now Obafemi Awolowo Stadium) still lay in waste. In less than seven months, the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde has remodelled and upgraded the Lekan Salami Sports Complex to a world standard. We Challenge Dare to show Liberty Stadium to the world and what will be seen is utter dereliction and abandonment.
“Aside from the dearth of infrastructure, we equally Challenge Dare to publish the names of beneficiaries of scholarships and other programmes either in his capacity or as Minister and let Ibadan people see how many of their kinsmen are beneficiaries.
“The award of this honour to Dare is a political move and we must add that it is a move that will yield no positive result because Ibadan people are not easy to deceive. They will always see through individuals struggling to buy Ibadan citizenship for political gains.
“They will always reject these kinds of people and also those who, though are Ibadan indigenes, but do not mean well for Ibadanland as their political antecedents have shown over the years.”