World Scrabble players have vowed to give World Champion Nigel Richards the fight of his life, just as Governor Godswill Akpabio has declared that the Godswill international classics will outlive him.
Speaking Thursday in Uyo, During a courtesy cal by the executive of the scrabble federation of Nigeria and the visiting players, Governor Akpabio said the decision to sponsor the Classics was not a political one so there is no how, it will be affected when I finish my term.
Amidst applause, he expressed delight that a competition that started less than seven years ago with less than fifty players now had over 400 players with the world champion in attendance.
” I am happy with the national body and the state association for raising the bar of this competition to becoming not only the most attended in the world, but one that will attract the world champion and four former world champions. This competition was not a product of politics, so there is no how it will be affected by my political fortunes” Governor Akpabio insisted.
He also promised the state body that he will be in the forefront of encouraging the Drabble to schools initiative and urged his special adviser on youth and sports to liaise with the commissioner of education and the state scrabble association to make it a reality.
Earlier Scrabble president Toke Aka had thanked the governor for his support for scrabble saying that through that support, Nigeria has gone on to win eight of the nine African Championships they have so far participated in.
In another development, Masters here present have vowed that Nigel Richards will not go away with the $15,000 dollars star prize. “ he is beatable. No he will not go away with the money”chorused US based Sammy Owolaba.
It is however believed that the greatest threat to Nigel’s crown is Thailand’s Pakorn Nemitrmasok. Even when the courtesy call was going on the former champion was busy poring through his special list of “ killer words”
Also in Uyo are the scrabble presidents of Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda who on sunday will join in the ceremony to invest Governor Akpabio with the prestigious title of Pillar Of Scrabble in Africa.
After yesterday’s opening ceremony, the competition starts in earnest today.