By Osakhare Erese, Asaba
Less than 48 hours to the commencement of the 21st Africa Senior Athletics Championships (ASAC) christened Asaba 2018, Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has performed the symbolic hoisting of flags of participating nations at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.
Performing the colorful ceremony yesterday Governor Okowa heaved sigh of relief that after months of strident efforts to make the stadium ready for the event, everything that will make the championship hitch-free has been put in place.
“This championship means a lot to the people of Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria, but, particularly, to us as government, Asaba is agog as we look forward to host a successful championship,” the governor said.
He continued, “in the last several months, we have been on our toes, working to make the stadium ready, we thank God that we are ready and I want to commend members of the local organising committee for their commitment to see that everything is in place for the championship.
“It is a thing of joy that most of our guest has already arrived and by Wednesday, August 1, 2018, the championship will commence,” he added.
“We are committed to sports development in the state, we hope to channel the energy of our youths to sports and utilize the facilities that we have”, the governor stated.
Chairman, LOC for the championship, Chief Solomon Ogba disclosed that out of the 54 African countries billed to participate in the championship, 52 have already arrived Nigeria. Chief Ogba stated that the hoisting of the flags signaled, “The commencement of the championship, visitors will enjoy the events and it is worthy to note that championships are hosted by cities, not countries that are why we have Asaba 2018.
“Chairman, Delta State Sports Commission, Chief Tonobok Okowa observed that the hoisting of flags of participating countries was a mark of respect for those countries.
Governor Okowa inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Police at the event which was witnessed by sports lovers.
Senator Okowa later undertook an inspection of the stadium and the ongoing rehabilitation of the Jesus Saves Road and the Direct Labour Road which would serve as access roads during the championship.