Tinubu, Sanwo-Olu Pour Encomiums as Tunde Onakoya Sets New World Chess Record

Deji Elumoje in Abuja

President Bola Tinubu and the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have commended Chess maestro, Tunde Onakoya, on setting a new world chess record.

Tinubu, in a statement issued yesterday by his Spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, thanked Onakoya for “sounding the gong of Nigeria’s resilience, self-belief, and ingenuity at the square of global acclaim”.
The statement is titled ‘President Tinubu congratulates Tunde Onakoya on new world chess record.’
Onakoya broke the Guinness World Record for the longest chess marathon yesterday, after playing for over 58 hours undefeated.
At the marathon taking place at New York’s Times Square, Onakoya exceeded the record set by Norwegian players Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad in 2018.

The President celebrated the Nigerian Chess Champion and founder of Chess in Slums Africa for the rare feat, especially “for the reason driving this compelling demonstration of character, which is raising funds for African children to learn and find opportunity through chess,” said the statement.
Tinubu stated that Onakoya has shown a streak customary among Nigeria’s youth population, “the audacity to make good change happen; to baffle impossibility, and propel innovations and solutions to the nation’s challenges, even from corners of disadvantage.”

The President affirmed that Nigeria’s youths have demonstrated in all fields, including Afrobeats, Nollywood, the pulsating skit-making enterprise, education, science, and technology, that great exploits can come from small quarters.
He commended the Nigerians’ inclination across artificial partitions for unity, once again exemplified through their undiluted support for the epoch-making endeavour.

The President, therefore, assured all citizens that his administration remains strongly committed to creating and expanding opportunities for the youth to explore and exercise their abilities and become the symbols of greatness our nation represents in the future.
On his part, Sanwo-Olu hailed the renowned chess master for setting a new 60-hour chess marathon record.

In a statement posted yesterday on his X account, the governor hailed Onakoya for breaking the world chess marathon record in Times Square, New York.
He praised Onakoya’s journey from Lagos, Nigeria to global recognition, stating that it embodies the city’s spirit.
He wrote: “Congratulations to chess master, Tunde Onakoya, on breaking the world chess marathon record in Times Square, New York. “Your journey from Lagos, Nigeria to global recognition embodies the spirit of our great city.

“#Tunde_OD continues to demonstrate that greatness can emerge from even the humblest beginnings. His remarkable story serves as a blueprint for all of us in Lagos city where his impact has been felt the most, showing that with determination, dreams can indeed soar to monumental heights.
“Tunde’s entire journey was showcased on digital billboards and celebrated with watch parties, capturing the true spirit of Lagos. Despite enduring pain and fatigue, Tunde persevered, driven by his commitment to empower the children he champions.

“This is your moment, Tunde, and Lagos stands with you every step of the way.”
Onakoya broke the record of Norwegian players, Hallvard Haug Flatebø and Sjur Ferkingstad, who played for 56-hour, 9-minute in 2018.
Giving an update, his foundation, Chess in Slums Africa, wrote, “60 Hours for those who dare to dream! 60 Hours for the millions of children who have been told to abandon their dreams!

“60 Hours because one person decided that there is no future worth dreaming of that does not include them! It is now #Tunde60HoursofChess #Tunde_OD.”
The new record holder said he attempted to raise funds and awareness for providing educational opportunities to underprivileged children across Africa.

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