By Okon Bassey in Uyo

Akwa Ibom State Government has said that its Dakkada (Rise) philosophy launched in the state about two years ago has started manifesting as a 14- year old daughter of the state, Miss Imaobong Nse won a gold medal in the women’s 400 meters race at the National Sports Festival which ended in Abuja yesterday.

Miss Nse who finished the women’s quarter mile race in 52:35 seconds to win the gold is a senior secondary school (SS2) student in the state.

She defeated some more experienced national athletes, some twice her age. Nse was showered with gifts and cash, making her an instant sports celebrity in the country.

Speaking in Uyo yesterday, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Marketing and Brand Management, Sam Edoho, said “more gratifying is also the news that Nse is not just an Akwa Ibom daughter, but one of those ‘not too privileged’ girls.

He said Miss Nse who takes advantage of government free, compulsory but quality education and the accompanying programmes for her personal acceleration, saying as a teenager she was discovered at the second edition of the Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival.

“Nse is an example of that girl and boy that Governor Emmanuel came to inspire, to rise above his or her gender, economic and religious biases and environmental barriers to the fate of greatness.

“Her success cannot be attributed to any other factor than the expression of a DAKKADA spirit empowered through the School Sports Festival initiated by Governor Emmanuel,” he noted.

Edoho noted that at the launch of the Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival, an annual Inter school sports competition initiated by present state administration for all secondary school in the state, the Governor had said that the programme will provide a platform for discovery of talents who would become emerging stars in international sports arena.

“Less than three years, the vision has become reality. It is even safe to say that without the introduction of the DAKKADA philosophy, the sports festival and building of ultra modern sports facilities across the state for trainings, the likes of Imaobong Nse, celebrated by Nigeria today would have been wasting in one rural community with no inspiration nor platform to express her talent.

“The DAKKADA inspired exploits are not limited to sports, in the last two years so many Akwa Ibom sons and daughters have been in the news for the right reasons.

Recently, a 19-year old Akwa Ibom son from Awa, in Onna Local Government Area, Master David Umoette made history flying the American Air force plane.

“Nse and her colleagues who won 21 gold medals for the state at the sports festival in Abuja have automatically been listed in the hall of fame as DAKKADA Ambassadors and products of Governor Emmanuel’s wise investments in sports development.” Edoho concluded.