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Wike wants experts to run sports in Nigeria

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on the Federal Government to remove political considerations in sports and allow experts to run the sector professionally, adding the country would not attain her potential if politics continued to interfere with sports.

The governor according to a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, spoke at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium , where he watched one of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) final matches of the season as Rivers United beat Gombe United 1-0 to be crowned champions of 2021/2022 Season.

The governor said the random selection of persons to satisfy quota system had not been of any help in identifying the best sporting talents.

“Let us remove politics from sports. Let’s go for the best. NFF, the Super Eagles, Falcons, we must do things based on merit, getting those who are qualified,” he said.”Let us not say take this from East, take from South, take from West, and take from North in order to make up the list, no. That won’t be the best for us.

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“I want to tell Nigerians to know that sports should go beyond politics. Sports should not be confined to the political arena. We should allow people who have the talents, we should allow people who have the capacity to develop sports in Nigeria on board.”

Meanwhile, Wike has expressed delight over Rivers United’s fear as NPFL champion, adding to put a team together to play as one and win a trophy required firm leadership.

He said: “When I came on board in 2015, we had Sharks Football Club of Port Harcourt and we had Eagle Cement Football Club. I said, this is one State and for now (then), it is important to put our talents together so we will have a formidable team.

“It was not easy to achieve that and we didn’t expect it to be easy that way. But we thank God today that all our efforts have been fruitful in seeing that we have won the Nigerian League. “

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He added: “So, leadership is key in everything you’re doing and if you don’t have that leadership, it would not have been possible for us.”

Wike said he was happy that Rivers United would represent the country well in the CAF Champions League, adding his administration would give the best support to the team to enable them bring the trophy home.

Wike said his administration had done the best it could do for sports development in the state, and believed that his successor would take over from him.

“The question is about what is good for Rivers people. So, I don’t think that any governor or government that will be in charge of this State after my tenure, will relent with what we are talking about in terms of sports development. It concerns youth development”, he said.

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Nigerian Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare said it was exciting for him to witness the emergence of Rivers United F.C. as champion of Nigerian League.

He said: “I think that what is happening today is exciting for me. 20 games, and 10 clubs playing their final game and we are here to watch Rivers United being crowned the leader of the premier league. I think, it is exciting.

“You know, there is always room for improvement and we know that NFF must be able to take care of their business. I have said it, they have a status, they have a Congress they should just do what’s needful and give Nigerians the fresh breathe and support they need.”

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