By Sab Osuji:
Organisers of the 2015 Governor Dickson Seriake's Football competition otherwise known as Governor Dickson Seriake's Cup has assured that Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa will host the final match, Completesportsnigeria.com has been informed.
Speaking, when members of the Central Working Committee of the Tournament visited the complex on a fact finding mission, the CEO of the contracting firm handling the rehabilitation of the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, Mr Ebi Egbe (Moni Love) re-assured the Committee that, in a month or two, pending the release of approved funds by the government, the stadium would be ready, adding that, all materials needed to complete the job are on ground, but what is needed is funds to execute the remaining work.
Similarly, the Central working Committee of the Governor Seriake Dickson Football Tournament has debunked reports in some sections of the media, that the inclusion of higher institutions of learning in the forth-coming tournament, defeats the import and purpose of the event.
Head of Media of the tournament, Ono K. Akpe, pointed out that, the competition is not for any particular age grade, stressing that, persons speaking against it were doing so out of ignorance, instead of appreciating the modest efforts of the State Government at taking sports development to the grassroots.
Mr. Akpe, stated that the tournament by all intents and purposes, is targeted at the grassroots level, where majority of the active youth population resides and any competition meant for that level is clearly to discover hidden talents, who should be given opportunities to express their talents to become more productive to themselves and the society in the future.
He noted that even the student population in the higher institutions listed for the tournament, is dominated by the youths, who have very limited competitions, where they can display their raw talents, pointing out that, the Governor Seriake Dickson tournament will serve as a springboard for them to make careers out of the game, especially with expected presence of scouts at every level of the competition.
The Media Head further explained that the actual reason why all the wards(104) in the state are to participate in the tournament and the inclusion of tertiary institutions in the state is to give them a sense of belonging as well as ensure that, talents can equally be discovered amongst them.
In his reaction to the comments by a one time Commissioner for Sports in the State, PrinceOpukiri Jones-Ere, on the state of sports facilities in the state, he pointed out that, no administration has undertaken the amount of projects in the sports sector, as the present one.
Akpe highlighted a number of sporting projects being embarked upon by the administration to include, the Sports Academy at Asoama in Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA, the Football Academy in Sagbama, the 18-hole Golf Course, the Polo Club, which were all conceived by Hon. Dickson's government and have attained between 70 and 80 percent completion and the award of a contract for a 35, 000 capacity stadium at Elebele in Ogbia LGA of the State.
He stated that, efforts were being intensified to complete ongoing work on the dressing rooms and the playing turf of the Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa, assuring that, the semi-finals, third place and the finals games of the tournament would be played at there, with the tartan tracks expected to be laid in the stadium for the first time.
In his words: “Although I am not a politician but a FIFA licensed agent.I am bold to say
that no administration has done so much for the sports community in Bayelsa State than Governor Dickson. Though some of the projects have not been completed, the bold infrastructural development of the Government must be appreciated and complimented.”
He concluded by appreciating the organisers of the tournament and pledged to contribute his own quota to make Bayelsa State excel in sports.