Amos Odeh, Yenogoa
The Director General of ‘Nigeria’s biggest football competition,’ “The Bayelsa Governor’s Cup ( or Prosperity Cup), Ono Akpe, says his passion to support youths made him key into Sports Development. Ono Akpe who was speaking shortly after receiving an award, at the End of Year Dinner and Awards, organised by Rhythm FM Sports Crew, held in Yenagoa on Friday, urged private individuals and corporations ,to join government to grow Sports so that more youths can find alternative employment and build careers.
He announced his readiness to continue to contribute his quota towards development of the sub sector in Bayelsa state and beyond.
He thanked the former Governor Seriake Dickson and also the incumbent Governor for endorsing the Governor’s Cup and his support of sports generally and his worthy successor, Senator Douye Diri (a one time Commissioner of Sports) for his commitment to sports development even as a member of the House of the NationalAssembly.
“Every time we approached Governor Douye then in the House of Representatives and later Senate, he has always given us both financial and moral support and for this we remain grateful. Today we are excited that already youth and sports development is a cardinal point of his administration and we promise to work hand in hand with the Prosperity Government of Governor Douye Diri to achieve these goals” he added.
He thanked the organisers for recognizing his humble contributions to Sports in the state, with the award.
It will be recalled that in 2012, Akpe was appointed as Special Adviser on Electronic Media to Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration, and was later made Head of Media and Events, Abuja.
He initiated and propelled the Governor’s Cup which the Minister of Sports, Hon. Sunday Dare at the 2019/20 finals celebrated as the biggest grassroots football competition in the Country. The Governor’s Cup which featured over 160 community based teams, commenced in 2015.
Also honoured for their individual roles in Sports Development include the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah, who was the Head of Media of the Restoration Cup, and later Director of Tournament; Olympic Wrestling Gold medalist and present Commissioner of Sports, Hon Daniel Igali ; a member of the House of Assembly, Hon. Wisdom Fafi. TUC Chairman and former board member of Bayelsa United, Comrade Laye Juluis; Nigeria’s youngest National Chess gold medalist 8 year old Deborah Quickpen amongst others.
It would be recalled that selected young players from the 2019 edition of Governors Cup, Restoration Starlets, participated in the African Youth Cup in Cape Verde where they emerged as the third best team out of the participating teams, which included teams from Cote de’ Voire , Cape Verde and Portugal. The team returned home to win the Bayelsa League Cup later that year.