By; KENNETH ORUSI, Asaba
The 2019 edition of the most popular Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity football cup competition, also known as Comrade Mulade Sheriff Peace and Unity Cup has been trending for over two weeks has finally came to a very exciting end with N2.2 million Naira cash awards and consolation prizes splashed on the competitors.
Spectators at the Benikrukru Township Field cheered Ajudiabo FC and Kunukunuma FC which locked horns for the third place prize, as well as Ogidigben FC and Okerenkoko FC which had a clash of the titans for the star prize.
Ajudiabo FC thrashed Kunukunuma FC 4 goals to one, while Ogidigben an Itsekiri community beat Okerenkoko FC by 5 to 4 through penalty shootouts after 1 -1 at full time.
The football competition has since its inception a few years ago, served as a bridge builder in Warri area as it has also proven to be the most valuable machinery for integrating Ijaw and Itsekiri youths into the football career.
The competition ended in a peaceful manner while some stakeholders and dignitaries with passion for peaceful coexistence between Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic groups, extolled the sterling qualities of the host Comrade Mulade whose thirst and passion for peace, led to his initiating the football championship.
For his part, Comrade Mulade glorified God Almighty for the vision, and commended members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), who contributed their experiences, moral and physical support to the success of the two weeks competition.
He advised others to honour invitations for Peace building and peaceful coexistence events such as this so that their names could be part of history, especially how the competition has helped to promote peaceful coexistence among the diverse ethnic groups and how it helped to grow and develop the economy of the area.
He noted that the presence of dignitaries from within and outside Ijaw and Itsekiri lands at the competition, helped to boost the people’s joy and also created the feeling that government would bridge the peace gap beyond politics.
The event was adjudged successful, non biased and as the most valuable competition in the riverine areas of the Niger Delta Region, particularly in Delta State
Meanwhile, the chief host and organizer of the tournament, Comrade Mulade, while presenting cash awards to the winners, announced that preparations for the 3rd edition of the Peace and Unity Cup Tournament between the Ijaw, Itsekiri and Urhobo of Delta State would soon commence.
He said the football game would specially focus on promoting peaceful coexistence among the youths from the three ethnic groups, using sports to cement relationships, stressing that the youths of today are the future leaders who would develop the area.