Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun’s message congratulating Anthony Joshua after the boxer defeated Kubrat Pulev to retain his IBF, WBA and WBO titles on Saturday has sparked criticisms from Nigerians on social media.
The Ogun State Governor joined other eminent Nigerians like the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, former vice president Atiku Abubakar and Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in congratulating Joshua on his victory.
Abiodun in his congratulatory message, said Joshua’s victory was a justification of the state’s investment in sports and youth development.
“So, this is to congratulate, on behalf of the good people of the Gateway State, our very own Anthony Joshua on the world-celebrated victory that has brought us pride and a justification for our investment in sports and youth development,” Abiodun wrote on Facebook.
The message was however met with criticisms from Nigerians, who questioned the state’s investment in Joshua’s boxing career.
“Point of correction Mr Governor, had it been he was nurtured in Ogun State, the type of politics and favouritism we display in Nigeria will never allow him to excel. We have thousands of Anthony Joshua roaming around the streets in Ogun State without government support…If he was to be in Nigeria, who knows what would have happened to him during the last EndSARS protests,” Jimoh Tajudeen wrote on Facebook.
Victor Abang added, “Our politicians will always want to reap where they did not sow. I bet you, if AJ was in Nigeria and depended on our government to help him achieve his dream, his dream would have been buried. The guy would have been pushing wheelbarrow inside Mushin market by now.”
“What benefits did Joshua, who was born and bred in London, derive from investments in sport by Ogun State Government that made him a high rising boxing star in the world? Ogun State with deplorable roads all over the communities of the state should focus more on delivering democracy dividends to the citizens who’re suffering from poverty and bad governance,” Dele Odugbemi also said.
“It’s UK investment and has nothing to do with Nigeria and Ogun State. Nigeria government like taking praises like this. It’s their stock in trade. Many talents like Anthony Joshua are still in the country wasting,” Innocent Igbokwe added.
Adebiyi Adesuyi wrote, “Governor Abiodun should not harvest where he didn’t sow. Britain discovered and developed the boxer. Ogun State should raise their future champions starting from today.”