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Gov Otu To Revitalize Sports In C'River

Cross River Governor, Senator Bassey Otu has assured Cross Riverians of his administration's commitment towards the revitalisation of sports in the State.

The Governor gave the assurance, Monday, at the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, after leading members of the State Executive Council to a 1-0 victory against team Civil Service during a novelty football march as part of activities for the 2023 Carnival Calabar International Festival.

Otu, who acknowledged that the clamour of Cross Rivererians during his electioneering period was for sports to return to the centre stage in the State, pledged his administration's determination to return the State to its glory days where athletes from Cross River would be donning national team colours and competing for continental and international laurels.

He recalled  the days where the likes of John Okon Ene, Etim Esin and a host of others from the State-owned Rovers as well as stars from the State Pelican Stars Football Club brought laurels and made Cross River proud in national and international competitions, while expressing optimism that with the injection of new blood into the sports sector, greater glory awaits the State.

The Governor who also emphasized the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, said mental and physical fitness of Cross Riverians was his priority.

"Fitness is very important to whatever we are doing. I believe that my selection cannot be disputed because we have seen the character and style the Exco (State Executive Council) exhibited here. They have thrashed the Civil Servants (Permanent Secretaries/Directors) properly.

"We will do everything to ensure that we bring sports to the front burner. Sports is health. We really want to push for Cross Rivererians to be healthy. We encourage everyone to be engaged in one sport or the other," the Governor stated after the game.

He thanked his team for winning the match even without proper training and challenged them to perform better in the coming games.

The Governor  called on Cross Rivererians to begin to support the State-owned teams as the revitalisation process continues, pointing out that "no club flourishes without fanatical support."

Also speaking, the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey expressed excitement at his team's performance, saying, "I feel very good. It is a novelty game. We have not played for some time; we were very rusty, but I am happy that we won. The skills are still there, but the energy is lacking. It was a good game. We came out, sweated, burnt some fat. It is the season of sweetness this carnival period and we are enjoying ourselves."

The game ended at 1-0 in favour of the Exco members after a beautifully scored goal by the Commissioner for Finance, Mike Odere, through an assist by the Commissioner for Youths Development, Barr. Ijom Ukam.

By Ebi Collins, The Beagle News