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November, Bayelsa will host a state-wide sports festival.

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Ibekimi Oriamaja Reports

The Bayelsa State Government claims that it is getting ready to conduct a State-wide sports festival that will draw athletes from all eight of the state’s local government areas in furtherance of its talent-hunting agenda.

This was announced by Governor Douye Diri on Wednesday during the 87th State Executive Council meeting, which took place in Government House in Yenagoa.

The Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, emphasized that athletics continue to be a powerful instrument for keeping young people in the state away from drugs, crime, and other vices.

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Governor Diri said that plans were under way to make the inaugural Bayelsa Sports festival in November of this year a benchmark, expressing his belief that sports represent the right direction the current administration is moving in for youth development.

He urged all local government councils to make sure that their sports teams were properly organized and ready for the event.

The Bayelsa Chief Executive also took use of the occasion to congratulate Bayelsa United FC’s management, coaches, and players on their promotion to the Nigerian Premier League following a number of seasons in the lower division.

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He also expressed his admiration for the Bayelsa Queens FC, who not only won the Nigerian women’s football league in 2021–2022, but also the WAFU Women Cup staged in Cote d’Ivoire.

Governor Diri urged the Bayelsa Queens to represent Nigeria at the CAF Women Champions League in Morocco next month after revealing that the squad had advanced to the final of the 2022 Aiteo Cup.

We are making significant investments in the growth of sports, he said. We would like to express our gratitude to all of our sponsors and collaborators who have chosen to support our important sporting event.

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“We anticipate hosting the first really all-Bayelsa sports festival by November of this year. We encourage our LGAs and our young to seize the chance and momentum that would be generated in order to achieve success for themselves.

“We think sports can inspire our young to give up crime, criminality and drugs. We believe that with sports the state is taking the right direction.

“We congratulate Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens, our two teams. Bayelsa United, which had previously played in a lower division for a long time, has been elevated to the elite league.

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“In addition to ruling Nigerian football, Bayelsa Queens now rule all of West Africa. They have also successfully defended their Aiteo Cup title, and they will be in Morocco for the CAF Women League Championship in October.”

Senator Douye Diri renewed his plea for political players to adhere to the norms of the game in his remarks on the upcoming political campaigns ahead of the state’s general elections in 2023.

He cautioned that his administration would not stand by when lawmakers violated the law to endanger the peace and security of the state, assuring that effective measures had already been put in place to safeguard lives and property before, during and after the electioneering season.

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The government would not stand by and let people break the laws to jeopardize the security of our state, therefore as the election season draws near, we implore lawmakers to play by the rules.

Asserting that Bayelsa continues to be one of the safest and most peaceful states in the nation and expressing the wish of the administration to maintain the status quo, Governor Diri commended Bayelsans and the various security services for their ongoing support.

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