Nigeria’s Sports Governor of the year 2017, Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel has made it clear that the essence of Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival is to spotlight great sports talents for Akwa Ibom, Nigeria and indeed Africa. Mr Udom Emmanuel who was represented by his deputy Mr Moses Ekpo said this at the draws ceremony to herald the beginning of the sports festival in Uyo capital last Thursday.
“Thank you for showing such great interest in making sure that what these ministries are doing on behalf of Akwa Ibom state government, namely to bring out the best of our young people to compete in world sports now and in the future is something you must support. I want to appeal again to all council chairmen to give all your support to these kids in your various local government areas.”
Speaking further, the Deputy Governor, Mr Ekpo frowned seriously against the emerging evil of cultism in Akwa Ibom schools. He promised that there will be no mercy for anyone caught involved in engaging school children with cultism. The Deputy Governor also advised that cultism does not pay rather leads to violent end.
“For you youngsters, one issue that agitate our minds, the mind of the government, and the mind of the governor, all of us are the issues of cultism in our schools. The experience we had last year was not too palatable. We do hope that our children will be so warned and that the Principals and teachers will be so warned that they don’t present cultist into the teams. I want to sound a note of warning here that any child, any competitor who would be found with any offensive weapon will be dealt with summarily.” The Deputy Governor warned.
The second edition of the youth festival featured 25 competitive events against 22 in the last edition. Among the new sports were Cricket and Base ball, also winning local government in medal table will go with N10 million prize money as 2nd and 3rd place shall have N5 million and N3 million respectively. The honourable commissioner youth and sports praised the governor for the vision to develop youths through sports, ‘we are convinced within our mind that this edition will record many pioneering achievements and shall be bigger and better than last edition.’
In similar manner, FIFA, CAF and NFA official, Paul Bassey numerated various reasons Akwa Ibomites should be proud because the state has taken the nation by storm sports wise. ‘You needed to be a proud Akwa Ibomite the day the Super Eagles qualified for the world cup with a match to spare. It happened here in our soil. It was all made possible with our ‘Sports Governor’ Udom Emmanuel.’
The deputy governor handled the draws for secondary Schools male category where Onna will play against Ikono and Obot Akara lock horns with Eket.
Other dignitaries conducted the draws for different games for secondary and primary schools as well as male and female categories. Meanwhile a new date for the opening ceremony at the Nest of Champions was announced to be Tuesday 6th of March against Monday 5th of March 2018 publicized earlier. Similarly arrivals into Camps shall henceforth be Sunday 4th March no longer Saturday.
In his vote of thanks the Permanent Secretary, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Youths and Sports, Coach Aniedi Dickson thanked the sports loving Governor of Akwa Ibom State, local government council chairmen and participating athletes for their commitment. Coach Dickson also assured that with this support of government and sponsors, the state contingent will exceed last performance at national sports festivals in the country.
Present at the draws ceremony were the deputy governor, Prince Idongesit Ntekpere, Hon. Monday Uko, Hon. Charles Udoh, Hon. Idorenyin Udo, Hon. Victor Bassey, Mr Paul Bassey, Coach Aniedi Dickson, Directors, Principals, coaches and school children to grace the event.
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