Tuesday, 17th May 2022
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Cross River governor-elect, stakeholders assure on sports development

Ayade said this in Calabar while giving an insight into his administration’s development thrust and what residents of Cross River should expect from the newly-elected government in the state.

Cross River’s Governor-elect Ben Ayade, has assured that his administration would sustain the sports development legacies started by his predecessors.

Ayade said this in Calabar while giving an insight into his administration’s development thrust and what residents of Cross River should expect from the newly-elected government in the state.

The governor-elect spoke while receiving his certificate of return in Calabar.

He said he would, however, develop sports alongside other sectors of the economy.

“Yes I will encourage sports but not in isolation. You cannot do sports on an empty stomach or when you are not healthy.

“Therefore, I will provide the enabling environment for robust investment and economic activities to thrive, provide employment for the youth side by side with sporting activities,’’ Ayade said.

Other stakeholders, who spoke on the matter, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar that they expected Ayade’s government to encourage sporting activities as well as the employment of young people.

According to Rep. Bassey Ewa, Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency: “We have all it takes to develop our sports and I know we have a very vibrant young man in Ben Ayade, as governor who is a sportsman too

“ So, he will definitely encourage sporting activities in Cross River across all the schools for the betterment of the state.

“We cannot do without sports in a place where football was first played in Nigeria at the Hope Waddel Institute.

“We cannot but encourage sports and see what we can do as a government to promote sporting activities, revive the defunct Rovers Football Club of Calabar.

“We expect the new government to encourage sports and competition among schools and continue with the legacy left by Gov. Liyel Imoke, whose Comprehensive Sports Development Programme was second to none during his tenure.’’

Another respondent Rep. Essien Ayi, Bakassi/Akpabuyo/Calabar South Federal Constituency, also said that he expected the new government to improve on what the outgoing government left behind undone.

Ayi, also Chairman of the State FA said: “You saw the state hosting a lot of competitions, Nigeria Air Force Competition, Chief of Naval Staff Swimming Competition, World Cup Qualifiers.

“You also witnessed the National School Sports, Olympic qualifiers, Athletics Federation of Nigeria meet and the bid to host the National Sports Festival and the hosting of Junior World Cup here in the state.

“So we expect Ayade to improve or move on from there particularly football which was first played in 1906 in Calabar.’’

Rep. Daniel Asuquo, Akamkpa/Biase Federal Constituency, told NAN that he expected the incoming administration to encourage sports and create jobs for the youths.

“I expect the incoming government to use sports to create jobs for the people and the youths.

“Government should be fair to all and bring development to the people. I believe that Cross River is in for a good deal in that regard,’’ he said.