The 13th Biennial Police Games has been declared open in Uyo the Akwa Ibom State capital.
Speaking at the colorful ceremony, held at The Nest of Champions on Wednesday, the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel described the 2022 Police Game as a partnership for excellence and opportunity to harvest more talents for sports development.
The governor, who commended the Police hierarchy for the choice of Akwa Ibom for the event, mentioned that his administration’s priority to sports development has culminated in the victories recorded by the state in the Aiteo Cup, Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), and the Nigerian Federation Cup, among others.
He acknowledged that the Police Force and other security agencies have worked assiduously to maintain peace in the state, thereby making Akwa Ibom the choice destination for tourism and other engagements.
“Let me place on record our gratitude for the opportunity to host this event. We also wish to commend the Nigeria Police Force and indeed all other security agencies for working collaboratively with us to ensure the peace we enjoy in this state and the upsurge in tourism and investments that come with it.
“Here in Akwa Ibom State, we have given the issue of sports development the attention and resources it deserves.
“Since we came into office, our own football club has won the Aiteo Cup, Nigerian Professional Football League Trophy, the Nigerian Federation Cup, among others,” he stated.
The Guest of Honour, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, described the Nigeria Police Games as a prestigious sporting event in Nigeria, which promotes sports talents and builds a bridge of partnership among police officers and the community.
The President commended Governor Emmanuel for hosting the 13th Biennial Police Games, pointing out that the collaboration between Akwa Ibom State Government and the Nigeria Police should be replicated in other states.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Usman Alkali Baba, stated that the vision of hosting the 13th Biennial Police Games in Uyo, with the theme “Promoting Sporting Excellence Towards Ensuring Fitness for Operational Exigencies and Combat Readiness”, was conceived upon the experience of the Force’s hierarchy during the Strategic Police Officers Conference held in the state earlier this year.
IGP Baba said the Biennial Police Games was a unique component of the Nigeria Police, which has produced for Nigeria, sporting stars that eventually rose to global fame.
The opening ceremony featured parades and hoisting of the Games’ flag among others.