By Our Reporter
“Football is what we used to make Donald Duke Governor, it’s same crowd I do see watching football match at the stadium is the same I saw during elections. Football is a game of unity, don’t allow football to die.”
This is an assertion by the member representing Calabar South/Akpabuyo/Bakassi in the House of Representatives, Hon. Essien Ayi.
He made the statement while delivering his acceptance speech after being inaugurated as the Chairman of the Cross River State Football Association in Calabar.
Decrying poor funding for sports activities he said, “Let me once again renew my call on the Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade to give more serious attention to the development of sports, particularly football.
“For a start, Government needs to ensure approval and release of monthly imprest to the Cross River State Football Association, to enable it carry out its activities.
“Government needs to equally improve on its funding of State football teams; Rovers FC and Pelican Stars FC, as a way of motivating the team for better performance at National competitions.” He said.
Representing the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President (Amaju Melvin Pinnick) as an observer, the Akwa Ibom State Football Association Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Ibah lauded the delegates for the manner they conducted themselves during the election process.
Stating that the election was peaceful, he urged the newly inaugurated Executives to leave no stone unturned to take football in Cross River State to a greater heights.
The election which held this (Saturday) afternoon at Grand Hotel, Atimbo Calabar had 22 accredited delegates.
Below are the newly inaugurated Exco to pilot the affairs of the association for the next four years;
Hon. Essien Ayi – Chairman, Mr. Oswald Atuaka – Vice Chairman 1, Mr. Gregory Abang – Vice Chairman 2.
The Board members are Mr. Godwin Odey and Vincent Elom – Northern Senatorial District, Okwa Etim and Onyeka Onyekwelu – Southern Senatorial District and Mr. Philip Obaji and Paul Edum- Central Senatorial District.
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