World welterweight kick-boxing champion Kamaru Usman on Wednesday received a rousing welcome at the airport in Benin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the kick-boxer arrived at the airport at 10.50 a.m. in a private jet.
He was received at the airport by Osaigbovo Iyoha, the chief of staff to the Edo Governor and other top government officials.
Cultural troupe from Benin and Auchi entertained the audience who were at the airport to receive the welterweight kick-boxing champion.
‘See Kamaru Usman as your role model’
At the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin, where Mr Usman was later received by a large crowd, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, told the youth to see the kick-boxing champion as a role model.
“We are very excited and happy to have you in our midst and in your state. You can see the excitement in the faces of the fans and these young ones.
“At home, people stay late into the night to watch those fights of yours,” Mr Shaibu told Mr Usman.
Turning to the youth, Mr Shaibu said there were lots of things they could learn from Mr Usman.
“Let us emulate those things that can lead us to greatness. Let us be inspired by the likes of Kamaru Usman. We have spoken and he is interested in having more champions in our midst,” he said.
The deputy governor disclosed that Edo state would look into how it can partner Mr Usman to groom athletes from the state.
“He has made a name for himself and he is ready to give back to society. He has told me he will develop more champions from our midst.
“For us, we will partner with his foundation to achieve that dream,” he said.
Mr Shaibu stated that Mr Usman’s exploits brought joy to several people, and that they were always praying for him to do well.
In his remarks, Mr Usman said he had been away from home for more than 20 years and it was nice to be back home.
“It’s a great pleasure to be home and see great facilities built by Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu. So, I want to say a big thank you to them.”
“One of my biggest thinking when I was coming home was the foundation, and how do we start to inspire the youths and everybody to get there.
“But with these facilities, I can see that the government is already taking the first step,” Mr Usman said.