The Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has inaugurated a 17-man Local Organising Committee for next year’s Senior African Athletics Championships tagged “Asaba 2018”.
Governor Okowa while inaugurating the Chief Solomon Ogba led LOC on Monday said the state has chosen to start early in order to put together a world-class event that Delta people and indeed Nigeria as a whole will be proud of.
He also stated that the early inauguration is also geared at making sure that the economic planning arm of the LOC have their figures captured in the state’s budget for 2018.
The Governor noted that Delta state remains the home of sports in Nigeria as it has continually set the pace in the hosting of international events and churning out talents that have over time grown to become world beaters.
Delta State, fresh from hosting its Sports festival is also gearing up for the Principal’s Cup final as the state continues to be a beehive of sporting activities.
Among other events, Delta State successfully hosted the inaugural Africa Youth Athletics Championship, AYAC and also put up a memorable spectacle when it hosted the Africa Women Championships.
Governor Okowa reiterated that sports has a lot of advantages including uniting people and it has also helped in projecting the image of the country.
One will not be wrong to call Delta State, a sporting state going by the antecedence of the athletes that have come out from the state as well as top sporting figures like the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick who recently was voted into the CAF executive committee and Chief Solomon Ogba a big wig in the Confederation of African Athletics and Special Adviser to the IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe.
Despite the recession in the country, Governor Okowa stated that he knows the worth of sport and he is ready to make more investment in the development of facilities and manpower.
He said he is impressed by the caliber of the members in the LOC and he is sure they will do a good job.
On his part, Ogba assured that the LOC members will not disappoint as they are ready to deplore every means to make Asaba 2018 an epoch-making event.
The erstwhile AFN boss promised to ensure that the private sector is fully involved in the organisation of the epic athletic event.
“We are happy with the mandate given to us by the governor, as you know, Delta State have the track record and we are ready not just to keep the high standards but also raise the bar” Ogba submitted.