The Gburugburu Solidarity football tournament came to an end on Saturday following the final match between Owerre Umuoyo ward and the Edem Ani ward.
Speaking at the event, sponsor of the tournament, Hon, Ishiwu Clinton, said that there was need to unite and engage the youths of Enugu North senatorial zone through the game of football.
He said, “All I have to say is that we must do our best to ensure that the youths are adequately prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. This is an opportunity for us to bring the youths of Nsukka senatorial zone together.”
While thanking Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi whom he described as a “youth friendly leader,” Ishiwu added that he will continue to do his best for the youths of the zone.
“Our youth friendly governor is a man of the people. He honoured our invitation because of the love he has for the youths. He has proven times over through his appointments and policies to be a leader that wants the best for the future generation of the state. We cannot thank him enough.”
In his address, Governor Ugwuanyi, who thanked Ishiwu for organizing the tournament, promised to continue his administration’s youth friendly agenda.
He said, “We handed over the state to God from inception and he has been helping us achieve great things. I want to thank Honourable Ishiwu for hosting this tournament. May God bless you.”
In the final match, Ikowa Chidera’s 76th minute goal for Owerre Umuoye ward gave his side the victory against Edem Ani ward.
Owerre Umuoyo won the cash prize of N1.5 million while the first and second runner-up teams, Edem Ani ward and Aku ward 1 went home with the sum of N1 miilion and five hundred thousand naira respectively.
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Ikowa Chidera of Owerre Umuoyo emerged as the tournament’s best player while Ugwoke Daniel of Edem Ani ward was awarded the best goalkeeper.
Similarly, the highest goal scorer went to Uzo Chimezie of Igboetiti with 7 goals while Idoko Daniel was recognised as the best defender.
Also awarded was Eze Ifunanya who emerged as the best referee and coach Chika Obasi of Owerre Umoyo ward who won the best coach of the tournament.
Dignitaries present at the event include the chairmen of the six local government areas of Enugu North Senatorial zone; Cosmas Ugwueze (Nsukka); Ejike Itodo (Igboeze North); Peter Omeje (Igboeze South); Solomon Onah (Udenu); Chukwudi Nnadozie (Uzo Uwani) and Nkechi Ugwu-Oju (Igboetiti).
Other dignitaries include traditional rulers; HRH Igwe Gabriel Okikenyasi Ezugwu (Ikolo, Igboetiti); HRH Igwe Sylvanus Aruma (Nru, Nsukka0; HRH Igwe Jude Okeke 9Nkppunato Mkpologu, Uzo Uwani); and HRH Igwe Sabinus Ugwuanyi ( Ohebe Dim, Igboetiti).
A former chairman of Nsukka LGA and current Enugu State Football Association Chairman, Tony Ugwu and a host of other dignitaries were also present.
Groups such as Nsukka Women in Action, Door to Door, Umuada Nsukka, Nsukka Women Movement, Nsukka Prayer Network, Nsukka Town Graduates, and the Nsukka Red Cross Society were also present.
Reacting, Ishiwu Malachy, expressed joy over the hosting of the tournament that he believes would go a long way in curbing crime among youths of the zone.
“Sports is a very good means of putting an end to a lot of bad things that youths do. It will keep them away from drugs and crime,” he said.
In his comment, chairman of the local organising committee, Onah Emeka popularly known as Mekilo thanked God for a successful tournament despite a few challenges such as the change in venue as reported by VANTAGE NEWS.
He also encouraged the sponsor of the tournament to continue with the good works he is doing for the people of the zone.
In the third place match played on Friday, Aku ward 1 from Igboetiti defeated Ozi from Igboeze North by 3-1.