This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Eko 2012 - Delta's Top Position Not a Fluke, Says Ogeah

Delta State's leading role at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos has been attributed to a deliberate policy of long and middle term planning for sports by the Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan administration.

The state's commissioner for information, Chike Ogeah, who was at the Teslim Balogun Stadium to watch the swimming events of the Eko 2012 yesterday evening, said Delta's domination of proceedings here was not a fluke nor accidental.

"It is a deliberate policy of His Excellency, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan's administration to put sports on the front burner. He created the Delta Sports Commission and appointed capable men and women to run it. He did not leave sports to suffer the type of bureaucracy several other states are suffering from now under the ministry format," observed the information commissioner.

Ogeah also explained that the sector can become big business if properly managed.

"Yes, sport is recreation but worldwide it has become big business. That is why we in Delta attach so much importance to it. We also know that it has the potential to also help take youths away from restiveness," he noted.

He urged other states to take a cue from what Delta is doing right in sports to help move the sector forward in the country.

"Other states should come down to Delta and copy our roadmap to sports progress. It is real and working," stressed Ogeah. He congratulated Lagos for hosting a first-class festival.

"Lagos has hosted a first-class Games. The state should be commended because it is not easy to host a multi-sports events in several venues without having logistic problems," the Delta State information commissioner stated.

He however hinted at the likelihood of some reward for the state's athletes.

"Now that it is obvious that we have won the festival because of the wide margin between us and the state placing second on the medals table, I can assure you that our athletes are going to have more than they bargained for when they get back to Delta," pledged Ogeah.

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