Fri. Sep 25th, 2020

Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Cup: Otuaro, Guwor, Ukori, Chevron official, others graces opening ceremony 

By Binebai Princewill

Tournament is to cement relationship between Ijaw, Itsekiri- Mulade

The much anticipated big football tournament in the Niger Delta region known as the Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Cup, sponsored by Amb. Comr. Sheriff Mulade officially begins yesterday at Ugborodo community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.

Among the numerous dignitaries that attended the opening ceremony from both ethnic divides include His Excellency, Barr. (Dcn) Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, Deputy Governor of Delta State, ably represented by the honourable commissioner, Ministry of Oil and Gas Delta State, Prince Emman Ambgaduba, representative of Chevron Nig. Ltd, Mr Bobby Elliot, Hon. Emomotimi Dennis Guwor, member representing Warri South West, Delta State House of Assembly, Amb. Jude Ukori, Chairman Egbema/Gbaramatu Development Foundation, EGDF, Sir Arex Akemeotubo, SSA to the Governor on Political Matters, Delta State, Chief Isaiah Ukulor, Comr. Emmanuel Akpule, Special Assistant to the commisioner, Delta State Ministry of Oil and Gas, with the host of other eminent personalities from the two ethnic groups that turned out for the event.

Mulade Speaks

However, Mulade while addressing the press maintains that the ultimate reason behind hosting the tournament is to cement the relationship between the Ijaws and Itsekiris.

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According to him, as leaders, it is always good to do things that will promote peace and unity, noting that without peace and unity, there won’t be any form of development.
When asked what triggered him to host the tournament, the global peace ambassador noted that he is highly bothered by the fragile and deprecating peace that exists between the Ijaws and Itsekiris, stating that if the two estranged tribes could live peacefully as one, there are lots to be gained from both divide.
In his words: “With our potentials, if we are truly united under one accord, there is nothing in Nigeria that Ijaws and Itsekiris can’t achieve.”
On the continuity of the tournament, Mulade noted that he is more than ready to make it an annual event, stressing that this is already the second edition as the maiden edition was hosted in 2017.

The opening ceremony, how Tebujor demolishes Ugborodo Fc 2-0

However, upon the arrival of the commisioner Delta State Ministry of Oil and Gas, Prince Emman Ambgaduba, representing the Deputy Governor of the State, His Excellency, Barr. Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, Amgbaduba kick-started the opening ceremony with a kick off at the Ugborodo football pitch.

However, the entertainment match between Tebujor Fc and their counterparts Ugborodo Fc started with both teams displaying rare talents and mastery of the game.
Trouble started for the home side Ugborodo when Tebujor Fc relaunched themselves into the game within few minutes of play and netted a goal in less than 10 minutes of play in the first half and later netted another superlative goal still in the first half which obviously demoralizes the Ugborodo players.

At the second half, both teams where at logger heads but neither Tebujor nor Ugborodo could score in the second half but the entertainment match ended 2-0 in favour of Tebujor Fc, defending champions of the tournament.
It would be recalled that Tebujor Fc is the defending champions of the 2017 Comr. Sheriff Mulade Peace and Unity.
Meanwhile, according to a member of the Local Organizing Committee, Hon. Bethus Ayetan who briefed the media noted that the opening match between Ugborodo Fc and Tebujor Fc will record no point as it is purely entertainment and ceremonial.
Delta State Government is proud of Mulade, we will partner with him – Amgbaduba

While addressing the press shortly after the first half of the match, Prince Emman Ambgaduba noted the Delta State Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is very proud of Amb. Comr. Sheriff Mulade.
Noting that, although he is representing the Deputy Governor on the occasion, reveals that Otuaro is highly pleased with the tournament and has expressed readiness to support the 2019 Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Cup.
He reiterated that they would make sure as a Government that the tournament is hosted annually, adding that the unity of Ijaw and Itsekiri is important for the continued growth and development of Delta State.
He further pointed out that football is surly one of the most fastest way of uniting people, insisting that Amb. Mulade has done the right thing.

This is laudable – Guwor

Meanwhile, member representing Warri South West Local Government Area in the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Emomotimi Dennis Guwor described the Ijaw/Peace and Unity Cup as laudable and historic.
Guwor while addressing the press on his happiness towards Mulade and his initiative of uniting the Ijaws and Itsekiris noted that the idea behind the tournament is noble and deserves some accolades.
According to him, every well meaning individual, particularly from the three Warri Local Government Areas of Delta State should be part of such historic event, adding that he is happy to grace the occasion at Ugborodo.
We will give Mulade the necessary back up – Ukori
Chairman Egbema/Gbaramatu Development Foundation, EGDF, Amb. Jude Ukori have on behalf of the officials of the foundation declared that they would not fold their hands and watch Mulade, one of their own carrying out such gigantic project alone, noting that they will give him the necessary back up.
Ukori, described as an empowerment guru in Niger Delta, a man that has contributed so much in the transformation of the region and one that have changed the destinies of many in the region gave the declaration yesterday at Ugborodo community while addressing the press.
Ijaw/Itsekiri, we are truly one – Eyewumi
On his part, Allison Eyewumi, secretary Ugborodo Youths hinted newsmen that the Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Cup is already yielding results as personalities from both ethnic groups are now evidently cross pollinating ideas.
The youths of Ugborodo and the larger Itsekiri ethnic nationality is truly happy for this competition.
It would be recalled that Eyewumi is also a Special Assistant to the Warri South West Local Government Chairman, Hon. Taye Duke.
Meanwhile, group stage matches will begin today at Benikrukru in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The man behind the football competition Amb. Sheriff Mulade is giving out a whooping N2.2m for grab in this year’s edition as the winning team of the tournament will smile home with N1m while the second and third runners -up will pocket N700,000 and N500,000 respectively, in addition to other consolation prizes.

Teams to play the tournament include, Group A, Okerenkoko, Kokodiagbene, Oporoza, Kunukunuama; Group B, Tebujor Benikrukru, Opuedebubor, Kurutie; Group C, Ogidigben, Ijaghala, Madangho, Ugbeogungun; Group D, Bateren, Agogboro, Ajudaibo, Ugborodo

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