Governor Udom Emmanuel has commended the federal government for approving the Naval War College for Akwa Ibom State.
He made the commendation at a special evening banquet in Government House, Sunday to honour the visiting Minister of Defence, Service Chiefs and other guests in the state for the 11th Nigerian Navy Games, Emmanuel said the state had the longest coastal shoreline of 39km, and therefore deserved the naval war college approved earlier in the day by the Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Mansur Muhammad Dan Ali(Rtd).
The governor said his people in Akwa Ibom were happy because the Defence Minister was acceding to their request despite officially visiting the state for the first time, saying “we are very happy and will forever remain grateful and pray that God will bless you for honouring us.”
He stressed the preparedness of his administration to always partner with the military services to ensure the maintenance of security in the state.
While extending an invitation to the Army for the hosting of the next Nigerian Army Games in Uyo, he announced that plans have been concluded for a standard multipurpose sports hall in the Godswill Akpabio international stadium.
“Julius Berger has already completed the design, very soon work will commence and the project is expected to be ready in the next two years with standard facilities capable of hosting any indoor sports.”
He said his administration decided to focus on sports development to transform youths of the state into world acclaimed stars, and announced his administration’s proposed ten model schools’ sporting centers in the state.
According to him, “When you get to the school sports complex in Itam which is one of the venues for your games, you won’t believe it is a secondary school,” announcing that two more of such schools sports centers are underway and would be completed soon in the state.
Mr Emmanuel said with his premium on sports, it would be expected that in the next seven years, four out of every eleven football players playing in the national team should be an Akwa Ibomite.
He expressed the hope that the love shared through sports would continue to unite and bond the country and commended the military for their selfless sacrifices to the country.
In his response, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibokette Ibas commended the governor for the warm reception and support accorded the Navy in the organization and hosting of the competition.
He said the show of love by the government and people of Akwa Ibom was immeasurable and thanked everyone for sharing with them.
Admiral Ibas said Akwa Ibom was being repositioned to take the lead following the sterling performance witnessed under the leadership of Governor Emmanuel and expressed the belief that the partnership between the state and the navy would continue to bring peace to the state.
It would be recalled that Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan Ali had pledged the readiness of the federal government to establish a Naval War College in Akwa Ibom State.
Ali gave the assurances during the opening of the 11th Nigerian Navy Games at the Godswill Akpabio International stadium in Uyo.
Divine Mandate Media Team
Akwa Ibom State