Tinubu Congratulates Tunde Onakoya Setting New Chess Marathon Record

President Bola Tinubu congratulated Nigerian chess master Tunde Onakoya on Saturday for his world record-breaking chess marathon campaign at the Times Square in New York .

“I congratulate Tunde Onakoya @Tunde_OD on setting a new world chess record and sounding the gong of Nigeria’s resilience, self-belief, and ingenuity at the square of global acclaim,” President Tinubu posted on X.

Onakoya is using the campaign to raise $1 million for his non-profit organisation Chess In Slums, which exceeded the chess marathon record of 56 hours set in 2018, to an outpouring of support and cheers.

Fans and supporters expect the record to be affirmed by the Guinness World Records review team in the coming days.

His race gripped the world, with entrepreneurs, corporate brands, and entertainers urging him on or pledging financial support for his non-profit.

President Tinubu believes the effort demonstrates “a streak customary among Nigeria’s youth population”.

“I celebrate this Nigerian Chess Champion and founder of Chess in Slums Africa for his rare feat, but especially for the reason driving this compelling demonstration of character, which is raising funds for African children to learn and find opportunity through chess,” he continued in his post.

“Tunde 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.”

Onakoya’s marathon, at New York’s Times Square, has been massively supported by Nigerians in the city, with many of them showing up to cheer him on. Afrobeats star Davido was also at the square and he presented Onakoya with a 30BG chain. The unity displayed to support the chess master’s goal was not lost on the president. He acknowledged it in his post.

“Nigeria’s youths have demonstrated in all fields, including Afrobeats, Nollywood, the pulsating skit-making enterprise, education, science, and technology, that great exploits can truly come from small quarters,” he said.

“I commend the inclination of Nigerians – across artificial partitions – for unity, once again exemplified through their undiluted support for this epoch-making endeavour.

“I assure all citizens that my 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 into the future.”

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