His Royal Majesty, Igwe Max Ike-Oliobi, the traditional ruler of Nimo, in Njikoka Local Government of Anambra, has told Governor Chukwuma Soludo in no unclear terms to match words with action as regards development in the state.
Gov. Soludo on assumption of office asthe Chief Executive of the state made no pretences about his robust manifesto on sports.
Now, the Royal Father has urged him to commit funds to sports in the interest of the teeming talented youths of the state.
HRM Ike-Oliobi made the plea when in his Palace while receiving the Chairman of the Anambra State Sports Development Commission, Patrick-Estate Onyedum and his management team in his palace.
Onyedum who was on tour of select secondary schools which had sports facilities with pedigree of producing budding athletes also visited All Sports Foundation Nimo, ASFAN, an academy owned and managed by Johnny Igboka, a veteran National High Jumper and Head Coach of Anambra Athletics Team.
The Royal Father said sports is crucial to the development and economic emancipation of the child and deserved every attention it could get from the government.
He commended Igboka for his passion and what he had been able to do for youths through sports using ASFAN in the past two-and- a-half decades and called on the Anambra state government to support the academy by giving facelift to the camp and as well provide more facilities to the academy.
“We are happy that the government of Prof. Charles Soludo has remembered us”, the Royal Father began.
“We’re happy for your visit because as a community, and individuals, we have been doing a lot to help our youths get a life through sports.
“Coach Johnny Igboka has done a lot. In a normal society, he should not be here. Singlehandedly, he has been training and producing world champions. Ue goes about, begging people to support his programmes and some of them have been magnanymous enough, donating money and food items.
“I want to beg Gov. Soludo to support academies like this. He (Gov Soludo) has a good plan for sports and with a true sportsman like you (Sports Commission Chairman), Anambra will return to it’s glorious days as citadel of sporting excellence in the country.
“All that I ask for is for him to provide the funds to implement these good ideas you have,” Igwe Ike-Oliobi pleaded.
The Sports Commission boss, Onyedum, and his team were conducted round the sports facilities of St Michael’s Secondary School, Nimo, by its Manager, Rev Fr Dennis Nwabueze who called on the government to help develop the school’s sports ground.
The clergy man said the school places high premium on sports and had been consistent in the discovery and mentoring of champions.
Earlier, Onyedum visited Community Secondary School, Isuofia in Aguata where he promised to help the school put its facilities comprising handball court, volleyball court, basketball court, football pitch and athletics field in good use.
He also visited and inspected facilities at Austica Memorial School, Nanka where he promised that some deserving schools would be adopted as centres of sporting excellence to serve as training grounds for potential stars.
“It is good to know that some schools have put facilities in place.
“As a government, we shall build on them and help them with technical manpower as well as activities.
“Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has said that we must get it right in sports and that we have to start from the scratch.
“That is why we are looking at what schools and communities are doing.
“I am really impressed with what I have seen so far. We shall work with them in our grassroots sports development agenda,” he said.
He further disclosed that the Commission planned to hold the Anambra Schools Sports Festival in the second quarter of the year and that exceptional athletes stood a chance to win scholarships at the national and international levels.