From Amos Odeh, Yenagoa
As part of his effort towards engaging and empowering the youths of the state, the Bayelsa state Governor, Seriake Dickson, has introduced a football competition among the youths which he christened ‘Restoration Cup’.
Speaking at the opening match between Thunder Bullets and Rear Okoroma Utd in Nembe, Bayelsa state, the governor enjoined the youths to make maximum use of the stadium, instead of allowing it to be destroyed by vandals.
The governor, who also commissioned the Nembe City stadium, said his administration has concluded plans to build such stadium in all the local governments of the state to enable them discover young talents.
He said his administration would continue to perform in terms of developmental projects and human capital development despite what the opposition was doing to run his government down, even as he advised the youths not to get involved in criminality.
“People should be interested in building instead of destroying. We have brought back peace in the state and we are determined to hold on to it, and we will never be deterred by the criticisms from the opposition”, the governor stated.
Also speaking, the Deputy Governor of the state, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd) who is also from Nembe, said he did not join politics to deceive people, but to deliver services and dividends of democracy to the people.
He lauded the governor for his developmental efforts in delivering services to the people of the state, saying all the sea frontiers in the state would soon be connected with roads.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Organizing Committee of the competition, Barr. Francs Ikio, who described the governor as “a complete developer of sports” lamented that what former Governor Timipre Sylva who is a Nembe man could not do by linking a road to their area was achieved by Governor Dickson, and therefore should be given kudos.
The match ended three goals to two in favour of Thunder Bullets which came behind from two goals down to defeat Rear Okoroma Utd.
In an interview with reporters, Deputy Director-General, Dickson Restoration Football competition, Onoriode Akpe, said the tournament intends to discover budding talents in football who will be encouraged to play for national and international teams because most super stars were discovered in similar grassroots football completions.
He assured that apart from winning the trophies, there were consolation prizes which will afford participants scholarships to pursue their academics alongside playing football.
Hon. Onoriode Akpe, who is also the special to the Bayelsa State governor on Electronic Media, also posited that the tournament was organised to forge unity among various communities in the eight local government areas of the state.