Okon Bassey in Uyo
In furtherance of his commitment to the development and expansion of sports infrastructures across the state, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has approved the construction of a 10,000-seating capacity stadium in Eket Local Government Area.
The stateâ€™s Commissioner for Sports, Mr Monday Ukoh, who disclosed this wednesday while inspecting the old Eket Town Stadium, said the new facility would be completed before the end of May 2018.
According to Ukoh the new sports facility which would have a tartan track for athletics, a football practice pitch in addition to the main-bowl, would be a boost to the stateâ€™s sports policy.
Likely to be commissioned as part of the May 2018 Democracy Day event, the commissioner said the facility when completed would help decongest state sponsored football teams from Uyo as well as offer the residents of the area opportunity to watch topflight football matches.
â€œWe are not going to inherit anything from the old stadium. Every thing here will give way for a brand new stadium which by the grace of God will be completed before the end of May 2018.
“We are going to construct a stadium that will take at least 10,000 spectators and going by the enthusiasm that the governor attaches to his projects the stadium should be able to attract international matches.
“It will also help the sports ministry to decongest the state sponsored football teams mostly based in Uyo and provide yet another training facility for international teams that are playing at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo,” he declared.
The commissioner hinted that athletes, who excelled at the last state youth games, would represent the state in the forthcoming national youth games at Ilorin as a strategy to continue with their development.
The sports commissioner maintained that the state government would continue to intensify efforts to sustain the gains made in the last Youth Games in the state.
Representatives of Eket community at the inspection commended the timely intervention of the governor on the stadium and assured the state government of adequate maintenance and security of the facility when completed.
Eket stadium was constructed by the Eket Local Council in 1994 and played host to topflight clubs like Mobil Pegasus FC but has since been in a state of disrepair after organisers of the Mobil Secondary School Athletics Competition decided to move the competition to the prestigious Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.