The Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON) has condemned in very strong terms the disgraceful manner the Akwa Ibom State government treated well over 200 youths from across different parts of Nigeria who were invited to participate in the botchedÂ 2nd Edition of the Akpabio Cup.
This event was to preceed the 47th birthdayÂ Of the governor [Obong Godswill Akpabio] of Akwa Ibom State.
Before now, no sour relatoinship existed between the youth sports body and the state government. This antecedent led to the successful completion of the first edition of the championship.
The current attitude of those who brought shame to Nigeria youths [U-17 boys & girls] which led to this on going empasse definitely ought to be inestigated.
Youths from 20Â states [Kano, Plateau, Kebbi, Kaduna, Niger, Imo, Lagos,Â Delta, Abia, Rivers ,Benue, Edo etc….. arrived on schedule for the December 1-9 2009 competition. The executive members of YSFON met repeatedly with officials of the state government.
The deputy governor engineerÂ Patrick Ekpotu even gave a go ahead order for the competition to beÂ organised after a close door chat with Jimmy Coker,YSFON deputyÂ National president because the governor was away officially.
Akwa Ibom state YSFON chairperson, Mrs Itohowo Etudor was to say the least a confused person. She could not summon courage toÂ tackle the problem head long all she could do was to quarrel with any body in sight while lamenting the misfortuneÂ The players slept in theÂ open field for two nights.Commissioner for Sports John Harry was mostÂ callous he just refused to bulge to please, all because according toÂ Â him, he was not carried along which was a cheap blackmail.
The truth was that he wanted a share of the YSFON sponsohip fund which wasÂ more disturbing was the fact that senator Alloysious Etok the AkpabioÂ Cup donor was embroil in some politic row with the current PDP leadership and they felt he was no longer in the good books. For Aniedi King reps member of Einan Federal Constituency who donated the U-17 girls Cup was lost in the brouhaha.
After four days of hide and seek, the Sports Commisioner John Harry ordered the police to chase the harmless youths out of the stadium to the suprise of football fans who were warming up for war due to the wicked and humilating treatment meted out to the innocent visitors.
In the face of all these, executive members ofÂ YSFON were who were accomodated at dignified hotel, got undignified treated as they wereÂ held hostage by the hotel management for unpaid bills.Â The Sports Commisioner only opened the stadium for the players toÂ retreive their belonging after realising his foolishness and poor imageÂ he had caused the state.
The numerous questions observers are asking among others are whyÂ invite the youths from different parts of Nigeria if the government was notÂ ready to host them. If the governor had enjoyed immense popularityÂ from the first edition of the Akpabio Cup why did he keep mum to expose the harmless youths to hummilation and tourture. This is a real shame YSFON is therefore asking the Akwa Ibom state govt to apologise to it and the Nigreian youths for their incivility and bad image the state has caused the country.