The governor of Lagos state, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has unveiled a 22 feet football statue at the Teslim Balogun Stadium (TBS), Surulere, Lagos.
Ambode, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola described the statue as a monument of great value which describes the passion of Lagosians and Nigerians in sports and football in particular.
His words: “The Monument seeks to educate the Nigerian youth and all visitors to Lagos State that our passion for the sport is not only captured by iconic infrastructure facilities and competitions but includes giving the opportunity to expose artistic representation of its value creative minds.
“The monument reveals Lagosians’ dexterity in the game of football and projects our fitness and readiness for glory as it conveys vital sports education knowledge and the promotion of sports tourism in Lagos State”.
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Arts and Culture who appreciated the creativity of the sculpture urged all sports enthusiasts to always come around to draw inspiration from the monument.
In his speech, the sculptor of the statue, Mr Ade Odunfa disclosed that he got the inspiration for the statue from his desire to express the significance of football to the country’s unity.
According to him, “football is a game every youth wants to engage in, hence this monument gives them the inspiration to pursue and express their soccer artistry and be committed to the beautiful game”.
Meanwhile, the statue is a 22ft tall sculpture of four players, two aside, standing on an eight feet concrete pedestal, showcasing the prowess, commitment and passion of Nigerians for football.
In the same vein, the state government also commissioned the “From Ebute” statue at Mobolaji Bank Anthony way, Ikeja and ‘Community’ statue at Ile Zik, Ikeja.
According to Akinshola, the two statues were part of the government’s effort to tell the history of the State through iconic statues and monuments spread across historical locations in the five divisions of the State.
She added that the ‘From Ebute’ monument represents the lively hub and confluence of people, the delectable lifestyle, the rich and eventful coastline traditions of people of Lagos State, stressing that the monuments and several others already commissioned in the State symbolizes Lagos as an open canvas for creative minds.
Akinshola also disclosed that the ‘Community’ statue located at Ile Zik, Ikeja, was rightly and timely to celebrate the unity and like-mindedness of Lagosians.
According to her, the ‘Community’ statue was inspired by the understanding that success is a product of unity while the beauty and strength of Lagos is her hospitality and acceptability of people of another cultural background with a binding cord of unity around us.
“These monuments together, therefore, seeks to celebrate, encourage and implore Lagosians to hold fast to our culture and continue the pursuit of excellence which our State is branded and noted for,” she said.
She also implored residents, especially community leaders and associations to take ownership of these iconic structures to preserve them for future generation to see, feel and explore.
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