Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has reaffirmed his commitment to sports development in Nigeria, particularly having been part of Super Eagles’ eventful qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and supporting Akwa United to AITEO Cup victory.
Governor Emmanuel was unanimously voted the Sports Governor of the Year at the 2017 Nigeria Sports Award held at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos and attended by crème-de-la-crème of Nigerian sports and captains of industry
Represented at the event by the Chairman of Akwa United FC and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sports, Mr. Paul Bassey, he expressed his satisfaction with the Eagles’ qualification for Russia 2018 World Cup, while pledging his continued support for sports development.
“We are proud to be part of the Nigeria’s qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and we will not relent in our effort to support sports. We are committed to empowering our youth and also use sports to support their dreams. We are delighted to receive this award from the organisers of the Nigeria Sports Award and this will surely spur us to do more for sports in the country,” Bassey said.
Since assumption of office, Governor Emmanuel has championed the drive for sports revolution in Nigeria, with Akwa Ibom becoming the emerging football capital of Nigeria by hosting to the Super Eagles all through its successful qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The state-owned football team, Akwa United FC has over this period winning Nigeria’s FA Cup twice in three years, just as the women team, Ibom Angels also emerged runners up in the female FA Cup for the first time ever in 2017.
The sixth anniversary edition of the Nigeria Sports Awards saw Governor Emmanuel emerging as winner of the award for the visionary changes his tenure has brought to sports development in Akwa Ibom State in terms of infrastructure, vast increase in its sports programmes and a significant improvement in the winning of medals by its athletes in national and international competitions.
According to the Chairman of the Nigerian Sports Award panel, Mr. Kweku Tandoh, the public had four different voting options – messaging option, twitter, manual format and voting through the award website. Voting was open to the public, from October 5 and to November 12, 2017.’
He said the award, aims to appreciate, honour and reward exceptional sports men and women, who through their performance on the international stage, have won laurels and brought glory to Nigeria, as well as administrators, managers, and other stakeholders whose outstanding contributions significantly advanced the cause of sports.