Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has explained that his administration has put in place an organisation that will Independently run Real Madrid Academy in order to achieve the objectives of establishing the institution.
In an interview on Thursday at the Government House Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said that the framework that his administration worked out was satisfactory to Real Madrid Football Club.
“We were able to assure Real Madrid that we have put in place an organisation, that even though Government will fund it, the organisation is totally independent to run it, so that there will be no interference from Government.
“We had in-house skeptics who didn’t believe that Real Madrid will agree to open an Academy here in Port Harcourt. We also had the challenge of the location of the school. We thereafter resolved to site it at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium.
“We are committed to achieving results as far as the Real Madrid Academy is concerned. What is important is identifying what we want to do and going ahead to do it”, Wike said.
The governor expressed optimism that the Academy will outlive his tenure because the goals are youth-centred and the necessary steps already taken to ensure sustenance.
“My prayer is that whoever will succeed me should not allow the dream to die. It will be quite unfortunate killing the dream of youths. It will not be taken lightly. The youths will never forgive such a person. What is important, don’t kill the dream of youths.
“God will pick someone who will continue with this dream to allow the children who want to excel to have the opportunity. Football is the in thing today. Every weekend, midweek, most of us don’t go out, because we want to watch matches as Football has taken a central role in the unity of nations, in the economy of nations and therefore, I don’t think any development conscious person would want to kill this dream.
“Real Madrid Academy is a project anyone would want to continue with and probably expand on”, he noted.
He charged Rivers Youths to take advantage of the Real Madrid Academy to grow their football careers.
“Let me advise our youths to use the opportunity available to excel in life. What is important in life is taking advantage of opportunities. Tomorrow, you maybe a Ronaldo, you may be a Messi , you maybe Adokiye Amiesimaka, you maybe Richard Owobokiri, you never can tell.
“No Rivers son who wants Football as a career should give any excuse that he cannot actualize his potentials.
“I am elated when people call me from across the world to ask after Real Madrid Academy. I can beat my chest today, if there is one achievement that is the fact that we have provided avenue for the empowerment of our youths. For our youths to exhibit their potentials and also excel.
“When we sent the children from Banham Model Primary School to Madrid, you needed to see the joy of the parents as they escorted them to the airport. They never believed that from their poor background, they will be making such trip. That is my own joy. To bring joy to others, especially the less privileged.
“What is important is that I have initiated what I believe would help the youths of the State, especially those interested in developing a football career. We have been able to lay a foundation for them”, he said.