Monday, 14 May 2018

How Imoke set me up against Asu - Duke

| 12 May 2018 | Ukorebi Esien 

The Chairman Cross River State Sports Commission, Rt. Hon. Otuekong Orok Duke has cleared the air on the rumored grouse and struggles for supremacy and terms of job description between him and the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, comrade Asu Okang. 

Chief Duke who was responding to questions from newsmen in his office during a press briefing revealed that he had no issues with the young commissioner, stating that what happened between the commission and the ministry is as a result of what the last administration of Sen. Liyel Imoke did to the sports commission.

Duke said in his drive to step up sporting activities in the state, sen. Liyel Imoke stood down the Cross River State Sports Commission and brought in a consultant to manage the state's sporting activities. According to Duke that act by Imoke was not only illegal as it was against the state's laws but also messed up the whole system.

Mr. Duke went on to reveal that there is an existing law which established the Cross River State Sports Commission and the law gave the commission a set o mandate which included but not limited to:

1. The sports commissions shall be responsible for the organization of all sports activities in cross river state. (Including for Ministries, Departments and Agencies and Parastatals ) 

2. All monies meant for sports shall be with the sports commission

3. Sports commission shall be in charge of all states sporting facilities in Cross River state.

'Sen. Liyel felt a consultant should come and reorganize the sports council in Cross River state. And so for eight years, nothing happened in sports council, he stood down sports commission. So when he brought a non-governmental person to run sports in the state he needed a government ministry to supervise the consultant. That was how he asked the ministry of youth to supervise'. Duke emphasized 

Duke revealed that there had been all manner of conflicts between his Commission and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. 

'We used to have issues but I had to insist on the right thing to be done because it is in the law. It is a reorientation thing so they need to get used to sports commission being in charge of sporting activities in the state'. He noted 

Earlier on the sport's boss had intimated that all over the world, what is invoked is sports commissions and not the ministry of youth and sports, he noted that other states in Nigeria like Lagos and Delta states that have sports ministries have all changed it to commissions with about 5 commissioners. And that Donald Duke has foresight when he instituted The Cross River State Sports Commission.

'When Liyel came, Liyel stood down sports commission and messed up everything which was illegal. And I insisted on the right thing to be done, now we are ok. ...Before we came on board The youth commissioner had already inaugurated Rovers and Perlican board, they are all Cross Riverians so I just let them be, there are over 42 sports to organize so why go after the only football.
...We are trying to make his excellency to also love other sports'. Duke concluded.

In another development, the director of sports Dr. Amadi informed newsmen that the state had lost it's hosting right for the annual national sports festival.

'The festival had been withdrawn but for us, we see it as an intervention by the Federal Government to save the sports Calendar, it was done without prejudice to cross river state which means we can still bid for the game'. He noted. 

While speaking with newsmen, Dr. Amadi further revealed that the hosting right was withdrawn not because of any fault of the state but because the contractors did not finish the sporting projects as at when due and rather preferred taking the state to court when the new administration asked them to return to the site. 

Lending his voice on the issue, chief Duke said the contractors went court even after collecting over 80% of their monies. He noted that the act had made the state lost over N8b being the total money invested to upgrade sports in the state.

Chief Orok Duke also revealed that plans are on the ground to introduce another female team into the sports commission. The team which shall be known as Linda Ayade's babes will be unveiled shortly. He further informed that negotiations have been concluded for MTN to build a standard health center within the stadium.

Chief Orok said this will help reduce the rate of casualty the commission has been suffering. He also revealed that plans are also on ground to set up an international standard restaurant that will be preparing meals with the basic dietary requirement for athletes. 

Ukorebi Esien 
is a Social Media Strategist and a Politics blogger who tells the Nigerian story one article at a time. 

All views are mine.