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New Rivers at one: Joseph Yobo’s testimonial match

By Simeon Nwakaudu

One of the high points of Governor  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike’s  first year in office is the successful  hosting  of the Joseph Yobo  International  Testimonial  Match  to celebrate  the former captain  of  the  Super Eagles who made his mark by winning 101 caps during his illustrious  career.  In this course of his achievement-filled one year in office,  Rivers State Governor,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  has  hosted some key international  football  matches. However,  the  Yobo Testimonial  stood out, making Rivers State  the cynosure of all eyes.

YoboIt is important that we recall a few of the international  matches that the Rivers  State  Government  under the able leadership of  Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  has  hosted. The State hosted the Nigeria  versus Angola U-23 Match, the Super Eagles Versus  Angola Match,  the Ivory  Coast  versus Sierra Leone match amongst  other  matches.

The hosting of the Joseph  Yobo  International  Testimonial Match  stood out in all respects. It brought international  football stars, journalists, administrators and enthusiasts together in Port Harcourt  to celebrate  the  peace, security  and development  of  Rivers State.. Football  megastars  from other countries  of the world  spent days in Rivers State,  taking out time to enjoy the nightlife and friendship  of the Rivers people.

The  match which held at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium was a delight to the world. It brought out the best in Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  as an excellent  host grounded in international  relations and the best traditions of sportsmanship.  The roll call of stars at the Yobo Testimonial International Match  is unprecedented. They include; Samuel Etoo,  Austin Jayjay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu,  Sully Muntari,  Steve Apiah ,  Ahmed Musa,  Efe Ambrose,  Vincent  Enyeama,  Ike Shorunmu,  Augustine  Eguavoen, Joel Obi and Coach Amodu Shu’aibu. yobo17

Former Manchester  United Manager, David Moyes,  Emmanuel Emenike, Dani Shittu and Club Proprietor,  Ifeanyi Ubah  were also on ground to celebrate  Joseph  Yobo during  the  testimonial match hosted by  the  Rivers State Government.  Nollywood Star, Osita Iheme  (Paw Paw) and Ace Comedian, AY  were on hand to  add spice to the match. Music stars like Humblesmith, Harrysong  and home-boy,  Duncan Mighty  provided the needed entertainment.

Before the commencement  of  the  fun-filled  match Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike had a one-on-one encounter with  one of the best goalkeepers  in world football,  Former Super Eagles Captain, Vincent Enyeama.  After taking the kick-off in the match between  Team Nigeria  and Friends  of  Yobo,  the governor  stepped forward for a penalty  kick. Though he did not score, Governor  Wike  struck the woodwork  to the admiration  of fans.

Though, the  Rivers State Government  stood by Joseph Yobo an illustrious son of the State who faithfully  served Nigeria,  the significance  of  this match can be better appreciated  from the  standpoint  that it has put paid to the falsehood  being peddled by the opposition  through their media outlets on the security  of  the  state. Hundreds of international  personalities  having been advised by their respective  embassies  thronged to Rivers State, spent days and have  returned safely  to their  bases. yobo1

Most importantly, the  match stretched into the night and there was no security  breach anywhere.  This fact must not be taken for granted.  It was also beamed live on Supersport selling Rivers State  to the world to the chargrin of unpatriotic  opposition  elements. Less than two weeks  ago,  golfers from across West Africa  were in Port Harcourt  for the West African  Golf Tournament.

Just like Governor  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike  has  always maintained,  the Rivers State Government has left the realm of speculation  to the field of practice.  Rather than tell stories that Rivers  State  is safe for businesses  and  investments,  Governor Wike  has thrown open the doors for everyone  to  visit and have a taste of the peace, hospitality  and friendship  that the state offers. The citizens  of  the  world have accepted Governor  Wike’s  invitation  and they are always here to enjoy with Rivers people.

Deputy  Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu while commissioning  the Rumueprikom-Rumuolumeni  road  on Friday  succinctly  captured the reality of the Rivers  story under the pro-people  leadership  of  Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike when he said:

“I can see people working  together, I can see a state government  in action.  I can see a governor  committed to  the  transformation  of  the  state and a governor  determined to use the opportunity  given  to  him  by the people  of  the  state to the  benefit  of  the  people. “I am happy  to see that the governor has brought  faith to government  when people  are losing  faith  in  government. ”

 


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