By George Onah, Port Harcourt
Following the death of the coach of Enugu Basketball team in Port Harcourt, Mr. Sunny Edemba during the just concluded 17th National Sports Festival the Rivers State Deputy Governor Tele Ikuru and Director General National Sports Commission Mr. Patrick Ekeji, have commiserated with the Enugu State contingent.
Similarly, the Ikwerre Traditional Rulers Council in Obio/Akpor LGA Rivers State says the sporting festival started about 38 years ago in 1973 by the administration of Gen. Yakubu Gowon has become one of the most unifying factors in the nation’s history.
Mr. Edemba died at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital , due to what the doctors said was ruptured appendicitis. He passed on three days after he was admitted and four days after the opening ceremony of the games.
Spokesman of Enugu team Mr. Edwin Eze told journalists that Edemba was a vibrant young man who exuded some bundle of energy and was always willing to take on assignments.
On his part, Chairman of the Ikwerre council King Frank Eke said the festival “has become a major landmark for unity irrespective of tribe or religion”.
Speaking to Vanguardsports at the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt as the games winds down the Eze Gbakagbaka said the sustenance of the sporting festival would encourage rapid socio-economic and political development of the nation.
He praised President Jonathan for promising monetary reward to the best three teams/states in the ongoing games, which “would make participating states to strive to achieve their best”.
He hailed the Rivers State Government for the “superlative opening ceremony”.
King Eke said the facilities in Port Harcourt were world class and wants athletes to embrace victory and defeat with the spirit of sportsmanship and asked losers to redouble their efforts during the 18th National Festival to be hosted by Lagos State .