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Sowore challenges Tinubu to run the ECOWAS Marathon

…saying, “We can’t have the ECOWAS marathon without ECOWAS’ Chairman running”.

A festive atmosphere erupted at the Eagles Square vehicle park in Abuja on Thursday when Omoyele Sowore, the two-time presidential candidate, arrived to pick up his running kit for the upcoming ECOWAS Abuja International Marathon.

As Sowore parked his car, food sellers and traders abandoned their wares, their faces beaming with excitement.

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Chants of praise filled the air, punctuated by joyous dancing, selfies, and warm hugs.

The air crackled with the energy of a joyful crowd sharing the moment with their “People’s President.”

After grabbing his kit and bib, Sowore commended ECOWAS for the marathon initiative, calling it “the best thing anyone can do” by embracing exercise and the culture of running.

He shared his own experience, stating that since taking up running, his health has improved dramatically, reducing his reliance on hospitals and making him a “better person.”

However, while praising ECOWAS for taking a step in the right direction, Sowore couldn’t help but notice a glaring absence: President Tinubu, the Chairman of ECOWAS, hadn’t yet indicated his participation in either the half marathon or the 5km fun race. “As of now,” Sowore remarked, “there’s no sign of his bib or participation.”

He emphasized that “we can’t have the ECOWAS Marathon in Nigeria without the chairman of the sub-regional body participating.”

He urged President Tinubu to join him and thousands of other runners at the starting line, setting an inspiring example for the entire nation.

Sowore, a seasoned marathoner with global experience, including the New York Marathon, believes that leaders must lead by example, and “walking the talk” is the most impactful way to do so.

He argued that if President Tinubu actively encouraged running and participated in the ECOWAS marathon, it would inspire countless Nigerians to follow suit, leading to a healthier nation and potentially reducing healthcare costs for the government.

Robinson Okosun, a Ph.D. holder in Physical and Health Education with a specialization in Sports Psychology, echoed Sowore’s praise for the initiative.

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Attributing his own “smart and trim” physique to his love of exercise, Okosun applauded the organisers and sponsors of the marathon.

He further highlighted the potential of the hefty prize money, exceeding $70,000, to lift many Nigerians out of poverty.

Meanwhile, organisers have enjoined all registered and intending participants to come to the Eagles Square to collect their running kits, number bibs, and goodie bags.

Saturday’s half-marathon will begin at 7:00 am in front of the ECOWAS Secretariat, while the 5km fun race will start at Bannex Plaza at 7.30 am with both races climaxing at Eagles Square.

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