Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Ahead of the conferment of the Power of Sports Award on Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), the President of AIPS, Gianni Merlo has commended the governor for his commitment to sports development.
Speaking during a brief meeting with Wike on the side-lines of the AIPS Congress (Belgium 2018) Cocktail in Brussels on Monday night, Merlo said sports investments made by the governor were worthy of recognition.
The AIPs President particularly commended Wike for the decision to set up a Real Madrid Football Academy in Rivers State, pointing out that it would develop international stars from Nigeria.
Also speaking during the meeting, International Sports Press Association-Africa (AIPS) Africa, President, Mitchell Obi, said association was proud to honour the Rivers State Governor for his outstanding developmental strides in the area of sports.
President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Honour Sirawoo, said Wike, by his contributions to sports development, has placed Nigeria on the international sporting map.
Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Austin Opara, said the governor has continued to live up to the expectations of Rivers people by his outstanding achievements.
Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah said under the leadership of Wike, sports development has been given a new meaning to the advantage of the youths.
Senator George Sekibo said the benefits of Wike’s quality investments in sports would be manifest in the coming years, adding that the governor merits the recognition by AIPS.
Rivers State Commissioner of Sports, Mr Boma Iyaye, and Majority Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Evans Bipi, said following the outstanding performance of Wike in sports development, Rivers State has become an international reference point.
Speaking during the meeting on the side-lines of the cocktail, Wike assured the international community that his administration would continue to invest in sports to empower the youths.
He said the Real Madrid Football Academy would be actualised by his administration to create avenues for Rivers youths to further excel.
The governor, who was accompanied to Brussels by his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette, to receive the AIPs Africa “Power of Sportsâ€ Award noted that he remains committed to the holistic transformation of Rivers State.
The governor would today deliver a lecture on the topic: â€˜Peace and Progress through Sports in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeriaâ€™ to the full house of the 94-year-old International Sports Press Association (AIPS) comprising no fewer than 108 countries.