Okowa And The African Senior Athletics Meet: Significance And Potential Benefits

It is only atop the ennobled tree that the evasive eagle perches and nestles-African wise saying.
The critical import of the proverb in the preceding paragraph is to the effect that only in clemency do the rare occur.
And this is true.
The truism of the proverb above finds eloquent expression in the fact that, as is already well known now, Delta, Nigeria’s Big Heart State, is to host a total of 54 countries in Asaba.
The event?
It is the 2018 edition of the All Africa Senior Athletics Championship, and a total of 54 nations, each with an encouraging contingent, are expected to actively participate in the showpiece holding in August at the Asaba Township Stadium.
Expectedly, news of the imminence of the sports meet at the stadium, also called Stephen Okechukwu Stadium (named after late national soccer skipper and Super Eagles’ coach, Delta-born Stephen Okechukwu Keshi) has actually activated and accelerated the tempo of work on the otherwise abandoned stadium, with massive action on the tartan tracks and other units/segments. At the current tempo of activity, it is expected that the stadium would be ready, far ahead of time, for the continental showpiece.
But what is the significance of the sports fiesta holding in Asaba, and what are its potential gains for the state and its people?
Well, like the legion plumes of the peacock, the fact of the fiesta holding in Asaba, seat of Delta State, bears clear testimony to many positive facts that encase the state in clemency. They include:
In Africa-and I think this is also true of other climes and at all times as it is applicable to ageless Africa- it is held that no man who has any credible claim to wisdom plants/sows in a forest on fire.
This goes to affirm the truism in the proverb that it is only in clemency that the dove coos. This much is true of the festival holding in Delta State; a large part of the reason for the feast holding in the state is a clear affirmation in terms of its clemency, especially with regard to peace and security.
Without an iota of doubt, this is a confirmation of the fact that the peace and security segment of the SMART Agenda of the Okowa administration is not only alive but is kicking and firing on all cylinders.
That the festival is holding in the state also confirms the fact of the ready availability of the relevant infrastructure in the state. The ready availability of the relevant infrastructure is equally a tribute to the prowess of the leadership of the state in this direction, particularly the Okowa administration, which, in spite of the huge negative impotentiating effects of the economic recession on the capacity for service delivery, has been able to reactivate work on the otherwise abandoned stadium that is now to host all of Africa to a great feast of athletics.
Besides, the successful reactivation of the multi-billion naira worth of work on the stadium, is an effective consolidation of the legacy of effective development of sports and related infrastructure which it began with the grant of N100m to the management of Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, to erect what is now an impressive 14-sitter capacity stadium that has made the institution to stand out for good in the comity of its peers in all of Nigeria.
While it is true that the festival holding in Asaba bears out the fact of the clemency of the state and the ready availability of the related infrastructure in it, it is equally important that we admit to one clear fact: The project itself-that is the festival-rhymes with the priority of the state government, which places great premium of effective sports development as part of the overall strategy to attain a miscellany of goals and aims, including the discovery and nurture of sports talents and the promotion of the comprehensive health and overall wellbeing of the people of the state.
It goes without an iota of doubt that the offspring of the eagle must of necessity be efficient at flying.
This much is also true of Delta State, which, under the watch of previous administrations, has hosted many sports meets, particularly football matches, on behalf of the Nigerian state at the Warri Township Stadium.
In this sense, therefore, the hosting of the Africa Senior Athletics meet in Asaba only enables the state consolidate its enviable tradition in this regard, though, of the truth, the decision to host the athletics meet is more alluring on account of the huge economic recession from which the country is only seeing the first real sign of official exit.

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