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Thursday, July 25, 2024

GOV. FUBARA SPLASHES CASH GIFTS ON RIVERS ATHLETES 

…Insists he won’t spend Rivers money on buying dynamite

…Directs commencement of sports festival in the State

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara has splashed cash gifts worth over N160million on Rivers athletes who were recently crowned victorious in various national and international tournaments.

In an elaborate ceremony hosted at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Governor Fubara noted that he has no reason to spend the state’s resources in buying dynamite or renting crowd to protest, but use the money for the peace loving and hard working people of Rivers State.

“I feel happy doing it because I know it is for good use and not for destructive purposes.”

He said it is not about the cash rewards, but an encouragement for the spirit and love the athletes have for the state which enabled them to represent and make the state proud through their victory in the various tournaments.

“So, I want you to leave here encouraged and continue to do your best to promote sports in our state. The only thing that brings people together is sports and I believe that if we invest in sports, it will go a long way to engage our youths and it will reduce crime and criminality ”

He expressed joy in their excellent performance and commended the impeccable leadership of the Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Barr. Christopher Green which has enabled the athletes to achieve greater results, asking him to continue to do the State proud so that he will be remembered by posterity.

The governor in his pronouncement gave the victorious Rivers United under 17 players the sum of N30 million, Rivers Hoopers Basketball N25million, Rivers Angels N25million, Rivers Beach Volleyball team N10 million and the Hockey team N10 million. Others are Rivers Table Tennis team N5million, Rivers Judo team N3 million, Chess N5million, Volleyball team N10 million, Paralympics team N10million, Cycling team N5million, Supporters Club N20million and individuals who won trophies to receive N2.5 million each.

He directed the Commissioner for Sports, Barr. Christopher Green to urgently design and commence a sports festival that will climax in December to enable the State celebrate the best from the tournaments as a way to further encourage the youths to unleash their productive potentials in sports.

Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Sports, Barr. Christopher Green commended Governor Siminalayi Fubara for the support and encouragement that has made the athletes perform excellently at various tournaments and returned to the State with an avalanche of trophies and laurels.

The Sports Commissioner listed the exploit by the Beach Volleyball team, Rivers Hockey team, Table Tennis team, Queen Dan-Jumbo emerging as the best female chess player in Nigeria, the National Cycling team, the Rivers United under 17 team winner of the National Youth Under 17 Football League with teammates Jackson Seifa emerging as the highest goal scorer, Oscar Ozo as most valuable player and 5 of the players enlisted in the Nigeria Golden Eaglet team as well as 7 of the players upgraded into the Rivers United Football Club.

In addition, Barr. Green listed other team such as Rivers Angels that emerged first runner up of the Nigeria female Premier League and winner of the Presidential cup, stressing that for winning the trophy they were rewarded with N25 million and another N5million while for the exploits of Rivers Hoopers Basketball team they were also rewarded with $50,000USD by the organisers.

On his part, a one time Green Eagles player and a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the State, Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka applauded Governor Siminalayi Fubara for encouraging sports development in the State and congratulated the athletes for doing the State proud.

He requested that the governor designate the state as the Hawk of Nigeria and suggested creating a sports festival to encourage harnessing the great sports potentials of youths in the State.

Also speaking in his goodwill message, a former sports administrator and former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja congratulated Governor Fubara for the support to the sports ministry that has resulted in the successes of the athletes.

He enjoined the athletes to sustain the tempo of success as according to him, it is easier to be a champion than to remain a champion, noting that their victory today is just a starting point, but they should strive to beat the world in their games.

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