By Duro Ikhazuagbe
After successfully hosting the 2018 Women’s Aiteo Cup final at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa last Tuesday afternoon, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Henry Dickson, wants the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to consider the state for more national and international events.
Gov Dickson who was thrilled by the quality of play put up on the Samson Siasia Stadium turf by Rivers Angels and Ibom Angels in the Aiteo Cup final told NFF board members who paid a courtesy visit to him earlier that he has made serious intervention in sports facilities in the state.
“We want the NFF to bring more high level continental and local matches to our stadium. The Samson Siasia Stadium here has one of the best playing turfs in the country,” stressed the Bayelsa State governor.
He also revealed that he has approved more renovation work at the stadium to meet up with the standard that can measure up to any of the top stadiums in the continent.
“More renovation work is going to be carried out here soon so that it can meet up with some of the best stadiums we have in the continent,” he noted.
Gov Dickson said apart from wrestling and swimming events that the state has made tremendous strides, he has also gone ahead with plans to put in place a specialized sports academy for the development and training of talented youths in the state.
“We have not only intensified youth development but building a specialized sports academy that will take care of kids from the primary school level. These pupils are going to be put in a boarding facility that will groom their sports talents as well as take care of their education. It is a one of its kind in the country,” he revealed.
The governor insisted that sports apart from its recreational values can be used for social mobilization as well as for generating employment.
“Even with paucity of funds, we have made strides in the sports sector because we realized that it can be used for social mobilization. We are building a polo course as well as tennis courts that are going to rate amongst the best in the country,” the Bayelsa chief executive further revealed.
He promised that very soon, Bayelsa teams will return to the Nigerian
Premier Football League where Bayelsa United FC and Ocean Boys FC used to be major forces.
Gov. Dickson thanked the NFF for bringing the 2018 Women’s Aiteo Cup final to the state as it was going to impact on some of the talents in the state.
“It was natural for Yenagoa to be the host of the Aiteo Cup final because the oil and gas company is domiciled in the state.
“Bayelsa is home to Aiteo because their OML 29 is here in Bayelsa. We want more companies doing business here to emulate Aiteo by also supporting young people and sports development programmes.”
He praised NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, on his re-election for a second term as well as his appointment as the First Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).