The maiden edition of the Akan Okon Unity Cup competition came to an end on Tuesday, 29 December, with Team Ibiono Ibom Ward 6 lifting the coveted trophy, after beating Team Itu Ward 4, 4-2 via penalty shoot-out.
The competition which was watched by over 5,000 spectators at the Mbiatok Itam Primary School Football pitch, was sponsored by the State Commissioner for Finance, Akparawa Akan Okon.
Other dignitaries who graced the colourful occasion were; the member representing Itu/Ibiono Federal Constituency, Dr Henry Archibong, member Itu State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Prince Idongesit Ituen as well as his Essien Udim counterpart; Rt Hon Nse Ntuen.
Others were; member for Ibeno/Esit Eket State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon Usoro Akpanusorh that of Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo, Hon Uduak Odudoh, the representative of Ika/Etim Ekpo, Rt Hon Gabriel Toby, Transition Chairman of Itu Local Government, Hon Okon Etim Okon, the State Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Augustine Ikpe, the CEO, Basse Engineering, Mr Bassey Ekanem, amongst others.
According to the initiator of the tournament, Mr Okon, the football fiesta was introduced with the aim of fostering unity and developing the inherent football potentialities among the youth in the State, as well as to engage them profitably.
The Commissioner who maintained that another Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will certainly come from Itu/Ibiono Federal Constituency, hinted that the 2016 edition will be much more fun and encapsulate not just football but other sporting activities.
Also speaking, the representative of Essien Udim in the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Nse Ntuen, who spoke on behalf of other Assemblymen, however, unveiled the trophy the with the sum of N200,000.
The elated Lawmaker lauded Commissioner Okon for being a trustworthy disciple of Governor Udom Emmanuel in the quest for sustaining superior performance in the State.
He maintained that Sports, especially football has been one of the strongest unifying factors in Nigeria, stressing that the competition will give the teeming youths of the area the opportunity to unite in the spirit of the joyous season, share experiences, foster existing family relationships and further the goodwill of Akparawa Akan Okon to the hearts of the people of the area as a servant leader.
For emerging the winner of the tournament, Team Ibiono Ibom smiled home with the sum of N 200,000 while Itu which came second got N150,000, third 100,000 while the Best Coach, Highest Goal Scorer; Best Goalkeeper; and Most Valuable Player went home with a cash prize of N50,000 each.
Meanwhile, the grand finale of the competition also attracted senior citizens in the State, including the Zenith Bank Plc branch manager, Mr Ekerete Emmanuel, Deputy Director, AKBC, Mr James Edet, Special Assistant to the Governor on Political Affairs, Barr. Iniobong Ememobong, his Research and Documentation Counterpart, Mr Emmanuel Nicholas Okokon, that of media, Mr Aniekeme Finbarr, that of Entertainment, Mr David Sergeant as well as the SA on Agriculture and Project Monitoring, Mr Moses Armstrong, amongst others.