February 6, 2023

The Chief of Staff to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development and a Member of the Main Organising Committee of the Asaba 2022 NSF, Alhaji Abba Abdullahi Yola,  has thrown his weight behind the Minister’s commendation for hosting of the Festival which for all intents and purposes is capital intensive by Delta State Government.

In an interview with journalists, Yola commended the Delta State government for providing standard facilities for the over 30 games being competed for by a gathering of more than 14 thousand athletes, a number which is the highest in recent times. As well as, other accompanying facilities like the games village that are also good and befitting for the athletes and their technical teams.

On the provision of other logistics, Yola who was a veteran of the games from Oluyole 79 and was recently Secretary of the games in Rivers and Lagos State respectively.

“The beginning of each games involving such a huge number of people is similar to the take up of a 747 Aircraft, there will be a bit of shaking and possibly turbulence. But as soon as it settles in the air, everyone goes to sleep, including even the aircraft pilots”.

“The first 2-3 days witness some pockets of worries but as soon as the potholes are patched, things will smoothen out for everyone,” he noted.

“That is exactly where we are now. Athletes are busy competing in a friendly atmosphere for laurels. And the medals haul have started. Each State will now reap the level of its preparation and a bit of luck which is always there, but with out any one of us sighting it,” he remarked.

On the relationship between the LOC and the MOC, he explained that there is a very good synergy between the MOC headed by the FMOS Permanent Secretary and the LOC headed by the SSG.

“So far, the games have been going on without any complaint or hitch. No thanks to the technical officials handling the various events,” he added.

Speaking further, the versatile sports administrator invited all the States participating in the games to ensure compliance with the rules of the game and call on their athletes to be disciplined and law abiding especially when competing bearing in mind that we are all humans.

Yola also called on the sports loving governor of Delta State to hand over the magnificent facilities at the Late Stephen Keshi Stadium Complex to the Sports Commission for proper and sustainable management beyond the games. While urging the National Sports Federations to avail themselves with what the State has put in place and come over to seek for sponsorship and hosting of their International and National Competitions.

He was particularly impressed with the spectacular opening ceremony, where a new time line for the opening ceremony was demonstrated, especially on timing of speeches. The Secretary to the State Government spent 45seconds His Excellency, the State Governor, 1min 35secs, and that of Mr President read by the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare was 2mins 15secs. Unprecedented, he remarked.

Yola also commended the LOC for keeping the opening ceremony activities to 1hr 50mins. And hope that the closing ceremonies will be conducted in similar manner.

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