The unity torch being received in Calabar
By Jude Okwe
Cross River State last weekend played host to the Torch of Unity of the 18th National Sports Festival taking place in Lagos later this year with a promise by the state governor, Mr. Liyel Imoke that the state’s contingent to Eko 2012 will put up a better performance.
Speaking at the UJ Esuene stadium, Calabar, Imoke said receiving torch showed the respect the state has for the festival as well as presenting it with the opportunity to show case what it has been doing in the last four years towards sports development.
Imoke, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham, promised that the state will not only participate in the Lagos festival but will put up a good performance because it is committed to exhibiting excellence in sports and sporting competitions.
The governor maintained that the state will continue to train its sports men and women as well as provide them with modern equipment.
He disclosed that the demonstration events which the athletes performed at the ceremony were exhibition of the efforts of the state’s comprehensive sport development.
According to him, the programme which has been on for two years now helped the state to come first in the last National Schools Sport Festival which was its first time of attaining such feat as champion stressing that it will do everything to remain on top.
Imoke said the torch of unity is necessary at the national level because the nation needs unity and that “may we continue as a united nation and may we through sports achieve unity which has eluded the nation for long.”
He, however, lamented that Nigeria with a population of 160 million people could not win a medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games, but the handicapped who attended the Paralympics and won some medals.