Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, has congratulated the Executive Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, over the prestigious “Football Friendly Governor of the Year 2018 Award” presented to at the Pitch Awards.
Oghenesivbe in a statement said that the award by Pitch was ”timely, well deserved and obviously testified to the numerous strategic and result-oriented efforts made by Dr Okowa during his first tenure to showcase Delta State to the world in both sports and youth development.
”Prior to Okowa’s assumption of office on May 29, 2015 the state suffered embarrassing, huge infrastructure deficit in sports development but the proactive steps taken by Okowa, backed by uncommon political willpower and adequate funding, changed the narrative within the scope of four years and still counting,” he noted.
Oghenesivbe, a pioneer Executive Assistant to Governor Okowa on Communications, further observed that ”the construction and commissioning of the Stephen Keshi International Stadium was one of the star projects, which got the governor’s political detractors heartbroken because of their initial claim that it would end up as a white elephant project and a financial drainpipe without a corresponding result.”
He said that Okowa, to the disappointment of those critics, ”got it right, completed the Stephen Keshi Stadium within the projected timeframe, and proceeded to host the 21st African Senior Athletics Championship there, which brought the entire African continent to Asaba”.
”In addition to that, Delta State came tops in several other sports competition as well as successfully hosting four FIFA soccer engagements, all in a period of short intervals.
President of NFF and 1st Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Amaju Pinnick, while presenting the award to Okowa during the week noted that the governor and his administration ”hosted several activities of the NFF.
According to Pinnick, “The amiable governor has also handsomely rewarded players and officials of the Super Eagles on more than one occasion. His administration also sponsored several clubs in the various leagues in the country, a channel for youths development.”
Oghenesivbe urged him to keep the flag of Delta State flying at high altitude, adding, ”Dr Okowa’s name may soon enter the Guinness Book of Records as the most innovative, goal-oriented and sports loving governor in Nigeria!”