The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, was on Monday night in Abuja honoured for his contribution to sports development in Nigeria, especially for his support for the senior national team, the Super Eagles during their qualification for the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The honour was bestowed on Governor Emmanuel at a Gala Night organised by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with the organisers of the 2018 National Sports Festival at Transcorp Hilton Hotels in Abuja.
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Sports Festival organising Committee honoured states, individuals and corporate organisations for their support for sports development in Nigeria in the year 2018.
Akwa Ibom State was given special Award for the state’s role in promoting the game of football and supporting the Super Eagles to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Russia with a game to spare last summer.
The citation poured encomiums on Governor Emmanuel for his support and commitment in developing and maintaining sports facilities in the state.
Receiving the Award on behalf of the Governor, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sports, Elder Paul Bassey, commended the organisers of the event for honouring the governor and the state, and said he was mandated by Gov. Emmanuel to dedicate the Award to the youths and good people of the state who have adopted the Super Eagles and troop to the Nest of Champions in their thousands to support the national team.
Elder Bassey stressed that by the time Gov Emmanuel returns for his second term, what was being celebrated today, may just be a tip of the iceberg.
“By the time Governor Udom Emmanuel comes back for his second term in 2019, what is seen and appreciated now in the area of sports development will only be a tip of the iceberg,” observed the veteran journalist who is a FIFA Match Commissioner.
The Akwa Ibom State governor was voted the Best Sports Governor of the Year 2017 while the national team coach, Gernot Rohr, recently said that Uyo is the preferred venue for his team as the Super Eagles set to begin preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, a tournament they have already qualified for also with a game to spare.