*To sponsors players from Rivers Angels, Rivers Utd to Russia 2018
Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Thousands of sportsmen, women and their supporters yesterday marched to The Government House in Port Harcourt where they unanimously endorsed Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for a second term.
This is as the governor urged the sporting community to defend their votes in 2019.
The sportsmen and women said their endorsement of Wike was premised on the governor’s revival of sports in the state and beyond.
The sporting community marched from Isaac Boro Park through the streets of the Old GRA to the Government House, Port Harcourt in a carnival-like atmosphere as they celebrated the achievements of the governor.
Mr Franklin Owhor moved a motion endorsing Wike for the 2019 re-election, stating that the sporting community would support the governor to emerge victorious.
Prince Kali Obi seconded the motion for Wikeâ€™s second term as Rivers State governor. He said all members of the community were wholeheartedly in support of the decision.
President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Mr Honour Sirawoo, said Wike emerged as the Power of Sports Award winner because of his outstanding credentials.
He said the award received the widest international media coverage, because the international sporting press appreciates the investments of the governor in the sports sector. He said Wike needs to continue for greater development of the state.
Board Member of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Christopher Green, described Wike as the Pillar of Sports in Africa .
Green said: “Governor Wike has brought national and international recognition to Rivers people. We are proud to be Rivers people because of the performance of the Rivers State Governor.â€
Goodwill messages came from female athletes led by Matilda Otuene and Leader of Rivers Sporting Community, Sir Allwell Egorugu.
Responding, Governor Nyesom Wike said it was obvious that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government was not interested in conducting elections, hence all Nigerians must be vigilant.
“The sign is there that they want to rig the elections. They want to simply write results. What happened last Friday when they invaded the State High Court is an eye-opener,” he said.
While thanking the Rivers Sporting Community for their endorsement, Wike announced that five Rivers Angels players, five Rivers United Players and three Go-round Football Club players would be sponsored to the World Cup in Russia.
He also disclosed that CAF President, Ahmad, would be in the state on May 28 to flag off the construction of the Real Madrid Football Academy in the state.