Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke believes the beauty of sports will be exposed when much emphasis is laid on fairplay, unity and non-violence.
The Governor’s views were echoed at the closing ceremony of the 3rd Cross River State Athletics/Swimming Championship held at the U. J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar on Saturday where he seized a platform to add his voice to the 1 GAME: Football without Violence campaign.
Meeting formally with 1 GAME founder and Executive Director, Philip Obaji, Imoke expressed his appreciation and satisfaction with the progress of the campaign while pledging government’s continued support for sports and non-violence in the state.
“I’m proud of you and grateful for your efforts,” he said to Obaji after receiving a welcome T-shirt from the 1 GAME founder. “I’m glad that we have a team that is so passionate about sports. All what we’ve achieved in Cross River State has been driven by passion. We have a new team that is so passionate about sports,” he later added, apparently referring to the entire team that has made sports development in the state a success.
With this development, Imoke has become the first serving Governor in the country to publicly embrace the 1 GAME campaign and joins a growing list of local and international icons from the sporting and political world whose involvement in the non-violence initiative has helped promote its call for an end to violence and fanaticism in sports particularly football. His commitment to achieving zero tolerance to violence in sports has left Obaji handsomely impressed.
“I’m totally impressed with the attitude and commitment of the Governor towards achieving fairplay, unity and non-violence in sports,” he told sports writers at the end of the event. “Apart from the media, nobody or organ has supported this campaign as much as he has. He’s never hidden his desire for youth and sports development. We are grateful to him for the much we have achieved,” he added.