Chairman of Cross River State Sports Commission, Chief Orok Duke, has insisted that Federal Government has not taken the hosting rights for the National Sports Festival, billed to have held last year, from them.
He spoke when managements of Royal Farms International Ltd and two other private firms expressed interest to annually sponsor Calabar Open table tennis and taekwando in the state.
His words: “it is not true that the sports minister has taken the hosting right from the state. As I speak to you nobody has given us any formal communication saying we no longer have the right to host the National Sports Festival.”
In Zambia last year, Barrister Solomon Dalung, the sports minister mentioned something like that. He has not given a definite decision. We are still willing to host the festival”
“Abuja and other states are merely advertising for the hosting right. As far as we are concerned, we are still the rightful hosts”, he insisted.
Duke said funds for the festival have been well provided for in the current state budget. It would be recalled that the 19th National Sports Festival has suffered several postponements right from the tenure of former governor, Senator Liyel Imoke owing to technical and infrastructural reasons.