Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Judo Association (AKSJA), Engr. Bunmi Johnson
By Uwem Uko
The Akwa Ibom State Judo Association (AKSJA) has appealed to governor EmmanuelUdom to provide a plot of land for the Association to build and equip a befitting Dojo and high-performance centre for Akwa Ibom State Judo athletes.
Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Judo Association (AKSJA), Engr. Bunmi Johnson said the association has requested for a plot of land from the past two administrations, but they were unable to provide them with the land.
He expressed hope that the present administration of their Sports loving Governor, Udom Emmanuel, who has created a conducive environment for sports development in the state will provide land for them.
Engr. Johnson also said that Judo in Akwa Ibom is a force to reckon with and deserved to be projected by the sporting press, following impressive performances and laurels, won by the State Judo athletes at National and International competitions in recent times.
He made the remark last week Thursday, when the Executive Committee of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Akwa Ibom State who paid the newly inaugurated Judo Board a courtesy visit at his office in Uyo.
“It is our pleasure to welcome you the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Akwa Ibom State chapter on this courtesy visit. My members and I have been looking forward to having an interaction with you on sports development, especially in the game of Judo in Akwa Ibom State and by extension, Nigeria in general,”* Engr. Bunmi said.
“In the last four years, our Judo team have racked up 68 medals, including 27 gold, 14 silver and 27 bronze medals at eleven competitions; Five medals at three international competitions and 63 medals at eight national competitions.*
*Our elite Judoka, Enku Ewa Ekuta is the International Judo Federation (IJF) highest ranked Judoka in Nigeria at 105th place with 120 points in the Women’s -63kg World Ranking List, after winning silver and a bronze medal at the 2019 Yaounde and Dakar African Open Championships, respectively. She’s currently seeking for sponsorship to participate in the remaining qualifiers for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.*
“We have qualified technical officials like our chief coach, Ewa Ekuta and female coach, Catherine Ekuta who are both international and national figures in the game of judo,” he said.
The Judo boss, however, said he was displeased at Sports Writers for focusing on football reportage to the detriment of other Sports in the state including Judo.
In his reaction, AKS SWAN Chairman, Comrade Emmanuel Akpan, said his administration is ready to partner with the association to project Judo competitions and training programmes.