By Ogenyi Ogenyi,Uyo
Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom has expressed optimism that the 2023 Governor’s Cup competition would help identify and groom emerging sports talents in the state to global reckoning.
Eno who made this known last weekend in a goodwill message at the State 2023 Governor’s Cup Draws in Uyo said the return of the competition which was had last held in 2012 and has produced many internationals from the state underscored his multu pronged approach to youth developement.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Senator (Dr) Akon Eyakenyi, the Governor promised that his administration would create an enabling environment for young football stars to achieve their dreams.
“This competition will help us identify and motivate special talents among our football loving youth into global reckoning. It will help the Ministry of Youth and Sports assemble a formidable team which will represent our State in national and other sports festivals.
“I have no doubt that there are Ronaldos, Messis, Etim Esins, Friday Ekpos, Okochas, Kanu Nwankwos, Vincent Enyeamas, etc among our youth. We can’t afford to allow them waste. Our duty is to create an enabling environment for them to bloom, achieve their dreams and maximize their potential. This competition comes handy in that regard.
“Moreover, this competition demonstrates our determination to fully implement the ARISE Agenda. During the innovative Akwa Ibom Dialogue, this competition was part of the recommended sectoral roadmap for the sports sector. Now, we are witnessing its implementation, to prove that we didn’t gather at Ibom Icon Hotels to play politics or waste time.” He said.
To further demonstrate his commitment to the implementation of the ARISE Agenda, especially in the area of youth development, Eno said his administration has not hidden it’s desire to invest strategically in the agricultural and sports sectors, to create more empowerment opportunities for young people in the state.
The Governor while promising to be physically present to perform the kick-off of the tournament, charged the Ministry of Youths and Sports to engage competent officials, with a clear-cut Code of Conduct, in order to instill public confidence in the competition.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Monday Uko, said the tournament which would feature teams from the 31 local councils of the state would further strengthen the bond of unity and peace existing among youths in the state.
While thanking the Governor for approving the competition, Uko said necessary measures have been put in place to ensure a hitch-free outing.
Chairman of the Tournament, Elder Paul Bassey who spoke on behalf of the Organising Committee, lauded the state government for reviving the tournament and promised fair-play and peace throughout the event which begins on September 21, 2023.
Chairman of the State Football Normalization Committee Me Bonny Nyong commended the governor for ensuring the return of the once fledging competition and pledged the committent of his committee to ensure a successful competition.
The draw indicated that Nsit Ubium local Council would would trade tackles with Uyo Local Council in the openning match next week Thursday at Uyo township stadium with the first round of matches holding in senatorial district basis.