Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens Football Clubs, winners of the men and women’s competitions of this year’s AITEO Cup were on Monday accorded a heroic welcome upon their return from Benin City.
The jubilant crowd received both teams and the state delegation led by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, at the entry point into Yenagoa amid solidarity songs and dancing.
A statement by the media aide to the deputy governor, Mr Doubara Atasi, noted that the procession started from the Igbogene Gateway and terminated at Peace Park opposite Government House where a mammoth crowd was waiting for the teams.
Addressing the crowd, the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo expressed gratitude to the people of the state for the warm reception accorded them.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo assured that a formal celebration will be organized for the players of both teams by Governor Douye Diri who was unavoidably absent.
He also appreciated players of both teams for their superlative performance, which made it possible for them to win the female and male categories of the FA cup, making history as the only state to achieve that feat in Nigeria.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo attributed the success to the miracle of God that ushered him and Governor Diri into office, saying since their assumption it has been one miracle after another.
His words: We are not celebrating yet because the sun does not dry cloth and take it, what we went to do in Benin was to dry cloth, the Governor who is the owner of the cloth will come and take it.
“When we told them the pair of Douye Diri and Lawrence is a miracle, they thought we were joking, now it is happening. We want to thank you for your prayers, for your support. we also want to thank especially the players, they have fulfilled their part of the bargain, we will do our part.
“Today we have created history by winning both trophies for the first time and we are grateful to God for his mercies upon the state. Since we came into office we have been creating records in sports”.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo thanked members of the political class and other Bayelsans who were in Benin to cheer the team to victory, saying their support contributed to the victory.
The Senator representing Bayelsa Central, Senator Moses Cleopas, House of Assembly members, Commissioners, Special Advisers, the Chairman Bayelsa Civil Service Commission and member Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Dr Peter Singabelle were part of the state delegation who cheered the teams to victory.