By Victor Okoye
Polo enthusiasts have commended Sen. Ahmed Wadada for using polo as a tool to support the education of orphans and out-of-school children in Nasarawa through his Foundation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Keffi Polo Ranch Open tournament, which kicked-off on Tuesday, ended on Sunday at the Keffi Polo Ranch in Keffi.
The event, sponsored by the Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, is supported by Kursi Investment Nig. Ltd., SW Global, Synergy Fertiliser and the Nasarawa State government.
Deputy Senate president, Jibrin Barau, who graced the event, commended the organiser of the tournament and urged others to emulate him.
“This is a wonderful programme. I commend Sen. Wadada for organising this tournament in support of education.
“That is why we are here; I call on others to emulate him.
“Education is the bedrock of every society and the duty of creating sound education rests on the shoulders of all us and not one person.
“So, what Sen. Wadada has done is a good thing that can help the society; one that everyone should emulate,” Jibrin said.
Sen. George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), also applauded Wadada for the initiative.
According to him, the initiative is in line with the Federal Government’s eight-point agenda.
“This government has an eight-point agenda and Sports/Youth Development is one of the areas of our concentration.
“When you talk about sports on extension, you are referring to the youths because they are, to a large extent, involved in various sports,” said Akume.
He noted that many sporting facilities in the country were dilapidated and gave assurance that the government was working to upgrade them.
“We are going to be upgrading them to ensure maximum productive performance of our youths.
“What I have seen here is the initiative of the private sector in the development of sports.
“This government also emphasises the need for private/public partnership in all aspects of our endeavour,” he said.
The SGF lauded Wadada for setting up a Polo Ranch for the development of sports in the country.
According to him, the power of sports also breaks ethnic or religious divide and helps positively in the development of the nation.
“It is highly commendable that an individual can raise this kind of facility for the purpose of Polo.
“It has become an annual event that attracts people from all parts of the country as sports is also a unifying factor,” Akume said.
Alhaji Rabiu Gwarzo, a member of the Board of Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) who represented the Chairman, John Coumantaros, said supporting the tournament was a no-brainer.
“This is the result of our long association with Sen. Wadada and it is the policy of Flour Mills of Nigeria to encourage and support sports as well as women participation in sports.
“In Fact, anything that is geared towards the development of sports in Nigeria, Flour Mills is totally and absolutely in support,” Gwarzo said.
On his part, Wadada noted that the importance of education could not be overemphasised.
According to him, education revolves around everything one does in life.
“Education is life, power, growth, development and progress.
“Education is everything and all-inclusive; education made me what I am and brought me to where I am today.
“Without education, no matter how my people love me, they wouldn’t have given me their mandate to represent them in the red chamber.”
On his team’s (Keffi Ponys) narrow loss to Malcomines of Jos, Wadada said there was no victor nor vanquished as everyone was a winner.
He thanked the dignitaries who honoured the event as well as the tournament’s sponsors.
“I am always a winner anytime, any day and Malcomines couldn’t have won if they hadn’t come to Keffi.
“We all participated and our participation is also a win.
“I want to thank Flour Mills of Nigeria and other co-sponsors for making the tournament a resounding success.
“I also express my gratitude to all those that (who) have contributed one way or another to the success of the tournament,” Wadada said.
NAN also reports that defending champions Malcomines of Jos retained the Senate President’s Cup with six to five goals to edge out the Sen. Wadada-led Keffi Ponys in the high goal five chukka event.
Runner-up Keffi Ponys settled for the Governor’s Cup.
Also, the Heritage Askia Williams Polo team won the prize for the low goal four chukka event as well as the George Coumantaros trophy after beating Intel Autos three to two goals. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Salif Atojoko