A two-day seminar/workshop on conflict resolution through sports and legislating for sports development at grassroots organized by Ebony Mega Sports International and Centre of Democratic Governance and Ethics in collaboration with the Rivers State House of Assembly, held at the Multi-purpose Hall, Civic Centre, Port Harcourt, last weekend, has ended with a call on the government to provide budget for sports programmes at all levels, especially at the grassroots.
The participants also demanded a comprehensive sports policy backed up by legislation up to the local government level and government partnership with private organizations to organize and sponsor sports programmes in the state.
A communiqué issued at the end of the two days events stated that a day be set aside for physical recreational activities in every local government council; government should partner with private organizations to organize and sponsor sports programmes in the state; each local government area should organize a mini sports festivals at least six months before the state sports festival; gets; every local government area should endeavour to attend all sports activities in the state that concerns their local government areas; there should be a standing committee on sports development in all local governments to encourage traditional rulers, Chiefs, opinion leaders, CDC, to organize inter and intra community sports competitions and advise and encourage the youths to always channel their energies towards active participation in sports.
The participants commended the executive governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for his giants strides in the development of sports in the state, especially the provision of Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium, bringing the mini playgrounds within Port Harcourt City back to life and the sponsorship of state athletes to national and international competitions.
Hon. Victor Amadi, lawmaker representing Etche Constituency 1 in the Rivers State House of Assembly, in his paper titled “Sports as a profitable avenue to arresting a sustainable peace,” noted that the development of the local government areas is a function of effective governance which if imbibed, would overcome unemployment, poverty, idleness youth restiveness and crime.
Mr. Eramos Chukwu, a director in the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce Mines and Agriculture, PHCCMA, who represented the Port Harcourt branch chairman, Mr. Vincent Furo, commended the organization for organizing the programme which he hoped would go a long way in reawaking Rivers people to participate fully in sports progammes as well as encourage cordial relationship among people of the state and reduce crime in the state.
He frowned at the manner in which those who are in authority are not showing serious concern in sports and suggested a legislative backing to make it more viable and interesting.
Others who spoke at the programme such as Hon. Chimbiko Akarolo, Mayor of Port Harcourt City LGA, Adokiye Iyaye, Vice Chairman Ogu/Bolo LGA, Hon. Gloria Kalada Nonju, Deputy leader, Phalga legislative Assembly, among others, while commending the organization for a job well done in organizing the seminar/workshop, assured that they would support sports development in the state.
Others who presented papers include, Barr. Ebere Dibia Eke JP “Venue creation through legislative procedures”, Faye Dikio, SAN, “Competitive strategies for the growth of sports,” Dr. Sofori Joab- Peterside, “Value creation strategies for sustainable operations and analysis,” among others. ###
Emeka Jilly Ejiowhor