In their determination to have a sports technocrat as replacement for the outgoing chairman of Delta Sports Commission, Tonobok Okowa, the state athletes have called on Governor Sheriff Oborevwori not to be deceived by some of the aspirants who are lobbying for the job. Okowa’s tenure as Delta Sports Commission boss will end this February, and many aspirants are currently in a fierce battle for the job.
Team Delta maintained its enviable position in the nation’s sports under the Okowa tenure, winning the National Sports Festival on three occasions, at Abuja 2018, Edo 2020 and Asaba 2022. Team Delta also won the National Youth Games a record seven times, and hosted several national and international events, including the 2018 Senior African Athletics Championships, the 2022 National Sports Festival and the National Youth Games in 2023. Some of the athletes, who spoke with
The Guardian, yesterday, stated that one of the aspirants, Onoriode Oborevwori, popularly known as Onos, a former player with Fragile FC of Warri. Onos played for Fragile FC in Warri in 1999, alongside the likes of former Super Eagles player, Joseph Enaikarhire and Ishola Shuaibu. He left football to concentrate on his hotel business. One of the athletes, a track and field star, said: “Anybody coming to lead Delta Sports Commission should be someone with a strong financial base, and from our independent findings, Onoriode has strong financial base with multiple investment raging from hotels, sand distributor for buildings. We, athletes, require money from time to time, and the only way to avoid crisis within the system is to have such person as our chairman because in most cases, government money don’t come on time.”
Another athlete, a volleyball player, said:”Onos has been rendering free sponsorship to many local football clubs, and he even lodged some of them in some of his hotel free in Warri. He has also sponsored some athletes and players to foreign clubs in the past. We don’t need a candidate who will depends on government funds alone for sporting activities. We need a philanthropist like Onos in our sports.”
On his part, a female weightlifter, who gave her name as Tessy, said: “We need someone who can use his money to sponsor us to competition until government releases money, considering the bureaucracy involved. We know sporting events are time bound. Onos has been accommodating a female football club, Delta Babes, for the two past years in his house in Warri free of charge. He is a very young and vibrant philanthropist. Regardless of being the governor relation, Onos is eminently qualified to take over from the outgoing chairman,” Tessy stated.