Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has explained why his administration prioritized sports development in the state.
He said it was an investment in youths of the state and a good avenue to discover and utilise their talents, adding that sports promote the government’s agenda of fostering peace and unity.
Diri, spoke on Tuesday evening at the closing ceremony of the Bayelsa Governor’s Football Tournament otherwise known as the Prosperity Cup at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying that his administration’s investment in sports was yielding good results in the performance of the state’s athletes in national competitions in the last two years.
He noted that apart from the state’s football and basketball teams recording remarkable feats in national competitions in recent times, the Prosperity Cup with 206 participating teams is recognised as the largest grassroots football competition in Nigeria.
The governor, who commended the organisers, said the standard displayed by the two teams in final game was very high and could be compared to any final match in the world.
The state’s helmsman charged youths in the state to focus on discovering their talent and that they had no business with illicit drug activities or consumption.
His words: “We believe that this is the best way to engage our youths. Through this tournament, a lot of talents will be discovered. Scouts have been here and I believe Bayelsa United will be the most beneficial club from the tournament.
“I congratulate all the participating teams. As you know, sport and in particular football is a unifier. This tournament has brought together 206 teams across our state. It is the largest grassroots football tournament in this country.
“It has also fostered peace and unity in our state. So, let me appreciate the founding fathers that introduced this governor’s football tournament.
“This is a government of prosperity and for those of you that have the skill, I am sure this tournament has exposed you to a brighter future. So try to discover where your talent is. You have no business with illegal drug activities, consumption and the attitudes that some youths exhibit. This is the right attitude to exhibit and you are very sure your government will support you.”