Akwa Ibom State government has said it would not spare any student who indulges in cultism during the upcoming youth sports festival scheduled to commence at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.
Governor Udom Emmanuel who gave the warning at the official draws of the festival in Uyo last weekend expressed regret over the increase in cult related activities in secondary schools in the area.
Emmanuel who was represented by the deputy governor, Mr Moses Ekpo warned parents and games masters to guard their children and wards from getting involved in such vices during the festival.
“We will not tolerate any form of cultism during the sports festival and we are ready to deal decisively with any student or athlete who will indulge in such things. I therefore urge parents and games masters to guard their children and wards from such vices as nobody will be spared,” the governor said.
He reminded officials and games masters of the developmental philosophy behind the games urging them against the use of unaccredited sport boys and girls other than credible students to prosecute the games.
State Youth and Sports commissioner, Mr Monday Ukoh had earlier said that the second edition of the festival was meant to build on the successes of the first edition and is aimed at exposing students to more games to enable them develop their individual talents.
Ukoh expressed appreciation to Emmanuel for his commitment to discovering and nurturing sports talents from the grassroots and expressed the belief that in due course the benefits of the sports festival would be visible.
“I want to express my appreciation to the best sports loving Governor in Nigeria for his commitment in sustaining the sports festival and for his zeal in promoting and funding sports programmes in the state,” the commissioner said.
More than 10,000 athletes drawn from secondary and primary schools in the state would participate in the one week fiesta featuring games including football, athletics, boxing, wrestling, volleyball, basketball, cricket, softball, handball, table tennis, swimming, lawn tennis, judo, taekwondo, javelin, discuss and weightlifting.
In the opening match of the male football event for secondary schools, Uruan local government area would square up against Etinan while Obot Akara would trade tackles with Itu in the female category.