Universal Promotional Wrestling Federation (UPWF) former heavyweight champion, Ambassador Osita Offor, also known as De Ultimate Commander, has urged Abia State governor-elect, Dr. Alex Otti, to pay attention to youth and sports development, which, he said, could help in the fight against crime in the state.

Offor, who was African Democratic Congress’ (ADAC) Abia North Senatorial candidate in the last general elections, said most of the youth involved in crime were pushed into criminality by unemployment.

Noting that sports and youth development projects are tools to engage youths and reduce criminality to minimum, he said: “I have been involved in so many youth projects… I was involved in finding solution to the Niger Delta militants issues between 2007 and 2010 when late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was in power.

“When we introduced the amnesty programme, which involved overseas training, scholarship and other ideas the attacks on Nigerian oil infrastructure reduced by 80 per cent.

“Sports is a big industry on its own. It has created job opportunity for millions of youths and has taken thousands of them out of the streets and out of crime. Sports has also turned so many youths into wealthy people and so, all the incoming government needs to do is to invest strategically into sports and create the enabling environment for investors to come.

“Integrating sporting activities into educational classes, while reviewing and building modern facilities across the local councils can reawaken and rekindle sports as a healthy lifestyle for everyone.”

Offor, who expressed his belief in Otti’s ability to lift Abia State out of “its current unacceptable condition,” said: “For youth empowerment and wealth creation, the incoming government can tap into ICT, create ICT hubs, invest in ICT entrepreneurship partnership schemes.

“This format will put Abia State in the map for ICT services and the partnership is expected to rake in millions in dollars both for the state and the partners. The government can equally train the youths on other skills that could take them away from the street and from crime.”

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