Players of Rivers Angels Football Club of Port Harcourt have been assured of maximum support by the Rivers State Government and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman in Rivers, Ambassador Desmond Akawor as they represent Nigeria in the maiden edition of CAF Women's Champions League.
And to prove the level of support, the team has been promised N1 million for every goal scored during the qualifiers in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire by the PDP chairman.
Speaking as Special Guest at a send-forth party organised in honour of the Angels in Port Harcourt, Ambassador Akawor charged the girls to dust all comers and make Nigeria proud, stressing that he was making the pledge on behalf of the party as a way of motivating the players to give their best.
"It is great that it is happening at a time that there is a sports-loving man as the governor of Rivers State who by the Grace of God is the Power of Sports in Africa, and it's only a man like Gov. Nyesom Wike that will invest in Real Madrid Football Academy to prove his love for sports development," he said.
And to further deepen his appreciation for the governor's efforts in promoting the team, he rechristened the team as Rivers Angels International Football Club; adding that "You must sustain what we have, and not bring down the bar; "You are the representative of Nigeria, you must exhibit the greatest discipline and move as a team; "Comportment is key and means a lot: Don't be deterred until the laurel is brought to the state."
Also speaking, Rivers Commissioner for Sports, Barr Boma Iyaye was full of encomium for Governor Nyesom Wike for his deep passion and commitment to sports development.
"There should be no excuse for failure, there is nothing like second best, everything has been provided for you, allowances, accommodation, etc; we are going there for business and not for a show or jamboree, we must succeed; we want to conquer Africa, we are already champions in Nigeria, the only thing we can do for Rivers Government is to qualify for the next stage," he said.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Sir Honour Sirawoo, Rivers Football Association Chairman, Barr. Chris Green, and Rivers SWAN Chairman, Sarah David, in their separate speeches admonished the players and officials saying, "This is one opportunity by God to change your lives, do your best to get to the next stage.
They described the girls qualification to represent Nigeria as a "special project" since sports was in the Rivers State Government development agenda; as such, "the circumstances leading to this send-forth is a dividend of service delivery by Governor Wike", and charged them to be worthy ambassador of not just the State but the country.