*Speaker Nwifuru promises sponsorship of another round of tournament
By NWOGHA ANDY, Abakaliki
In truth, nothing unifies people better than quality sports. In addition to this glaring fact, sporting activities promote healthy competition, fitness of the body and mind, display of tremendous talents and elimination of idleness.
Year in, year out, Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru dishes out huge sums, to facilitate and sponsor footballing events between the 13 Development Centres of Izzi extraction, under the care of Izzi Football Association (IFA). The 2021 edition of this beautiful tournament began on Sunday, February 7, 2021, yet again, under the able sponsorship of Speaker Nwifuru.
In a release made available by the Chief Press Secretary to the speaker Ebonyi State,Leo Ekene Oketa described sports as a uniting force to building peace.
The Grand Finale of this year’s tournament, yesterday at PA Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, rocked the capital city of Ebonyi State – Abakaliki, as Ebonyi Development Centre defeated Speaker Nwifuru’s Ebyia Development Centre by two goals to nil (2-0), to claim the ultimate prize. Amachi Development Centre went home with the bronze medal after putting Abakaliki Development Centre down by a lone goal to nil (1-0).
There were clear roars of emotions from spectators and fans. It was a delightful occasion which produced sizzling displays and fine goals, especially for the neutrals.
In a clearly energetic scene, the 1st place team – Ebonyi DC went home with One Million Naira (N1,000,000.00); 2nd place team – Ebyia DC, Six Hundred Thousand Naira (N600,000.00); 3rd place team – Amachi DC, Four Hundred Thousand Naira (N400,000.00); and 4th place team – Abakaliki DC, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000.00). The teams, individual players and coaches equally received various cash prizes as well, from notable stakeholders from within and beyond Izzi clan.
The Honourable Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, and sponsor of the 2021 Izzi Football Competition – Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, thanked everyone for their active participation in the tournament. He praised the hard work put in by the Local Organising Committee led by Chief Barr. Boniface Ezeagu and advised them never to relent in their strides to help promote sports in Izzi land.
Obviously elated, Speaker Nwifuru announced that in a couple of months to come, he’ll make a provision of the sum of Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00), to the committee to begin another round of this beautiful tournament. He admonished the youths to eschew violence, cultism and bitterness among themselves and embrace unifying and growth-oriented projects and activities like quality sports.
Rt. Hon. Nwifuru thanked His Excellency, Engr. Chief David Nweze Umahi – Governor of Ebonyi State, for his tremendous and sincere efforts in providing enabling environment for sporting activities in the State. He encouraged the Governor to pay deaf ears to unnecessary distractions from any quarter and continue to keep focus in his quest to place Ebonyi State properly on the global scheme of affairs.
The Grand Finale was well attended by the Deputy Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly and other Honourable Members, Executive Council Members, Local Government Chairmen from Izzi extraction, Party Executives, Traditional Rulers, Coordinators of various Development Centres, Youths from Ebonyi State, Gentlemen of the Press and indeed, many stakeholders of repute.
It was indeed a resplendent occasion, ably chaired by the Former Honourable Minister of State for Power and Steel , Chief Goddy Ogbaga.