By Eche Amos, Lafia
As part of activities to mark this year’s International Children’s Day Celebration, the Nasarawa State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, has thrown his weight behind the organization of an U-13 Inter-Primary School Boys’ Football Championship.
The Governor demonstrated this when organizers of the Championship, through the Aliyu Bello Charity Foundation, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Lafia, on Thursday.
In his remarks, Engr. Sule said;
“Let me commend you for this initiative. It’s a global initiative, but it’s unfortunate that we don’t take it as seriously as you are taking it.
“Countries that are successful in sports around the world today set up deliberate sports programmes targeted at the discovery of young talents for podium appearance. These are a must-attend-progammes for the kids to catch them young.
“We used to do this in the early days of Nigeria, but along the way, we abandoned it.
“I am happy that you are bringing the old practice back.
“Why I cherish this project is because it is targeted at the kids. We have to start teaching them the values of sports and instil in them the spirit of tolerance and that our ethnic diversity is our strength.
“What you are doing is what all leaders are supposed to be doing for our children.
“Ensure that those who will be selected to partake in the Championship are children who merit it, it doesn’t matter whose children they are.
“Select children with proven talents of football so that we will be able to groom and promote them so that they can make the State and country proud in the future.
“I promise you that as far as I am concerned, I will personally support this noble project and the State Government will also support it, and rest assured that I will be at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Championship.”
Leader of the delegation and Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Nasarawa State, Hon.. Aliyu Bello, had told the Governor that the essence of the visit was to intimate him about the Championship and its benefits to the children and State as a whole.
Aliyu Bello who also doubles as Chief Organizer of the Championship added that the visit was to get the endorsement of the Governor for the competition and contribute his quota to the administration of Engr. Abdullahi Sule through his Non-Governmental Organization, the Aliyu Bello Charity Foundation.
He congratulated the Governor on his victory at the last Governorship Election in the State and appreciated him for accepting to include the Championship in the itineraries of his May 29th 2nd term Swearing In/Inauguration ceremony as well as his commitment towards sports development and other areas of endeavours.
The State’s Deputy Governor, Dr.. Emmanuel Agbadu Akabe; Speaker of the State’s House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi; Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Amb.. Lucky Isaac Yargwa, as well as Executive Chairman, Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board, Alh. Mohammed Musa Dan’Azumi, among others, also endorsed the Championship and pledged to lend their support to the success of the Championship, with promises to be available at the opening and closing ceremonies of the competition.
The Championship will commence on Monday, 22nd May, with the final slated for May 27th, 2023, which coincides with the International Children’s Day Celebration.
Thirteen Primary Schools, one representing each of the Thirteen Local Government Areas of the State, will compete in the one week-long event in Lafia, the State Capital.
Prizes, certificates of participation and other consolation rewards will be given to participating teams.
High-point of the visits was the presentation of replica jerseys for the championship to the aforementioned personalities.