*Governor Emmanuel charges team Akwa Ibom to go for gold
By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Ahead of the commencement of the 21st National Sports Festival tagged “Delta 2022”, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has received the Torch of Unity amid a brief reception ceremony at Government House Gate, Uyo, on behalf of government and people of the state.
The Torch of Unity which arrived Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on Thursday,, was flagged off by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 26, for onward movement across the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT.
Represented by his Deputy, Mr. Moses Ekpo, the Governor Emmanuel lauded the Federal Government for sustaining the initiative since its maiden edition in 1973 and thanked the Government of Delta State for accepting to host this year’s edition of the multi-sport championship which he noted has helped in promoting the peaceful co-existence of Nigerians.
The Governor announced the participation of Team Akwa Ibom in the event and assured that government would provide all the necessary support for members of Team Akwa Ibom to go on and win as many gold medals as possible.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Sir Monday Uko, described the exercise as recognition of the strides of Governor Udom Emmanuel in sports and called on the athletes who will be donning colours of the state at the biennial championship to give their all in order to make the state proud.
Under the supervision of the State’s Director of Sports, Elder Ifiok Duff and amid admirable cheers of the on-watching athletes and officials of Team Akwa Ibom as well as other dignitaries who graced the ceremony including members of the state executive council, the Torch of Unity moved from the South-South zonal Zonal Coodinator of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mrs. Rebecca Wilfred, to the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sports, Elder Paul Bassey, through to the South-South representative and executive board member of Nigeria Football Federation, Otuekong Nse Essien, to the Director of National Sports and Para-sports Commission and Deputy Chairman of Delta 2022, Mrs. Amaka Ashiofu and on to the Deputy Governor before departing for onward movement to Rivers state.
Over 18,000 athletes from the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT will be vying for honours in Asaba, Delta state, when the Games commence on November 28, this year.