By Babatunde Ojo
The Special Assistant to Delta State governor on Sports, Hon Lucky Nkeki has declared that Delta State will remain in the forefront of sports in Nigeria for the next 30-50 years.
Nkeki, who is also a board member of Delta State Football Association stated this in an interview session with journalists on Nigeria Sport Centre’s WhatsApp platform ” Hot Seat”.
Responding to a question on the plans of Delta State government when sporting activities resume after covid19, he said ” We have a template in Delta State which everybody knows, we are just going to resume where we stopped. Before the covid19 pandemic, we were supposed to host the Nigeria against Sierra Leone AFCON qualifying match in Asaba and after that we are supposed to go for the National Sport Festival. Don’t forget we are the defending champions and we had the principal’s cup and the headmaster’s cup in motion. After the covid19, we are just going to go back to the template and resume from where we stopped.
The sport technocrat also responded to the question of the challenges in running sport affairs in Delta State, he said ” It’s been challenging knowing that sport is capital intensive, it is not an easy thing but knowing the kind of governor we have, we always find a way to go about it. Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is a listening governor and he so much believe in the youth.
“Most of the Delta youths are sports inclined and the governor has been supporting them. As for the challenges, they are there but we are always overcoming them with the background I have , going about it is not difficult”.
Nkeki also aired his view on the problems of the Nigeria Professional Football League, he said ” The problem with the league is that we have a lot of players who are not really matured for the league, everybody wants to play football thinking it’s an easy way to their meal ticket. We really have to go for the best players and the issue of managers, I own this player, this club owns this player is making most of the clubs not to have the right materials for continental showpiece. You will discover that whenever Nigeria is going for the CAF Champions League, the Confederations Cup, it is always difficult for us to win matches especially when we come across North African teams. I just hope that our coaches will be able to recruit the right players when we go for continental engagements”.
Furthermore, Nkeki stated that Delta State is going to remain in the forefront of sport in Nigeria for the next 30-50 years. According to him ” The policies are there, the strategies are there, the facilities are there, don’t forget that Delta State has the highest number of sporting facilities in Nigeria. We have about 14 stadia in the state. We have in Agbor, in Asaba, in Warri, in Ughelli, in Oleh, in Sapele, in Ukwuani, in Ogwashiukwu, in Iselukwu etc and these facilities are being used by the athletes”,he concluded.