Gov Emmanuel: A Special Brand In Youths/Sports Development
By Umoh-Obong Kingsley
The Akwa Ibom Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, is leading the way to get schools sports back on the table with its many advantages. He sees sports as a window of opportunities to unlock hidden treasures for the younger generation.
In 2015, in a breakfast with management and players of the state-owned football teams, Governor Emmanuel charged them to write the name of Akwa Ibom State on the national sporting map. He followed them all the way until the state broke a 28 year old jinx, when Akwa United won the Federations Cup.
The victory of Akwa United FC in the just concluded 2017 Aiteo Cup is a classical demonstration of commitment to excellent, dedication to hard work and matching words with actions as promised by the Governor Emmanuel, on assumption of office in 2015, to ensure that youth and sports development receive prior attention in his administration.
Akwa United clinching the trophy for the second time in three years under the same administration is some feat that is worth commending. History of state-owned football clubs in Nigeria has it that they are struggling. Today, Akwa United has laid down the marker for other states on how to manage and allocate resources to football clubs to ensure that the clubs are successful.
The feat is a landmark achievement on the part of the club and it makes every Akwa Ibomite who loves the state to be very excited. We can afford to look back to some of the things especially the current administration in the aspect of sports.
It was not just a trophy they won, but a motivation, it serves as means of encouragement and justification to all the efforts the stakeholders are putting in to the development of sports.
In 2015, Akwa United became the first team from the old South Eastern state to win the oldest tournament in the country. It is very exciting repeating the feat for the second time in three years under the same administration. Akwa Ibomites will find themselves rising to the occasion, and showing that they have something that they can bring to the fore.
Akwa United is a unique team built around the spirit of Dakkada, the revolution that is now sweeping across Akwa Ibom State. Despite the fact that the match did not end within regulation time of 90 minutes and extra time, it went into a penalty shootout. The spirit of success that pervades Akwa Ibom State was there, and the team was able to win. It is a good lesson that when people are determined to progress, it shall surely come. The best is yet to be seen of Akwa United FC now that it is going continental
The victory is a 30th anniversary present from Akwa United, and the female team, Ibom Angels, who will also log heads with defending champions, Rivers Angels on Wednesday in Jos in the women’s Aiteo Cup finals, will hopefully be coming home with the trophy.
It was a result of passion, concern, faithfulness and manifestation of investment of Governor Udom Emmanuel, together with collective result and will of the people. One with God is a majority. Governor Udom Emmanuel has done exceptionally well in sports development in his last two years in office. Uyo has become a destination for football in Nigeria and in the next few years, we will become an international destination for sports in the country.
Governor Emmanuel demonstrated his love for the players when he took them to the stadium and pepped them to victory. The teeming Akwa Ibom people trooped to the stadium to cheer up the players. More than a half of the stadium was filled by Akwa Ibomites.
History has been made that Akwa Ibom was the first state to win when the Aiteo Cup came into existence. All thanks to God for ensuring that after helping Nigeria to win the 2018 World Cup ticket, the state was also rewarded with a Continental ticket.