Emir of Lafia, Justice Sidi Bage Muhammed presenting a trophy to the winners
By Raphael Ekpang
Security is every man’s business. Royal fathers in Nasarawa state recently pledged support to Ejike Ugboaja Foundation to enable it achieve its quest to tackle insecurity in the country, particularly Nasarawa state via empowering the youths through sports.
Emir of Lafia and chairman Nasarawa State Council of chiefs, Justice Sidid Bage Muhammed 1 (rtd), and his counterpart in Doma, Alhaji Ahmad Ogah Onawo have both pledged their supports and that of others to the foundation in its quest to take Nasarawa youths off the street through basketball and Nigeria-America football thereby curbing insecurity in the state.
The former justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria made this known on Monday in Lafia while watching the finals of Ejike Ugboaja Foundation’s maiden edition of Nasarawa State talents hunt basketball tournament played at the Lafia Township Stadium basketball court.
The Emir of Lafia who joined his counterpart, the Andoma of Doma to grace the event said it is obvious that sports has the potential to take youths off the street and make a good life for them.
The elated Emir who watched his subjects being awarded scholarship by the Ejike Ugboaja Foundation to study both in the country and the United state of America, through the game of basketball and Nigeria-America football stated that he and his colleagues in the state will key into the vision of the foundation so that through it the youths who ordinarily would be on the street causing security breach around the state would be channel into sports.
“I want to thank our good friend, Ejike Ugboaja, he is a philanthropist who has thought it wise to use his resources to create a conducive atmosphere for us in this state, in those days we called basketball the game of the ‘MEN’ it is a nice game and for a very long time I had not watch it but, Ejike Ugboaja has brought me out to watched the match from the beginning till the end and I can see in the faces of my subjects; hope, happiness, eagerness to become good citizens, so I think we need this in the state to help redirect our youths for profitable ventures.
“What Ejike Foundation is doing, to us in Nasarawa state it’s a welcome development. This is what the executive government of Nasarawa state Engineer Abdullahi Sule has being trying to achieve because he is redirecting the state to a private driven state where private investors can come and invest in the state, so what Ejike is doing now is in line with the agenda of the governor for the state, so we (Royal Fathers) are solidly behind him and we’ll support him wholeheartedly to make sure the programme succeed in the state and beyond.
“What Ugboaja is doing is not just investing in the state but investing in human development, I am happy and my chiefs are happy that it is happening in our time because all along we’ve being brainstorming on how to get our youths productive in the state so that they can eschew criminality. This foundation has shown us that sport is the answer to our quest to engage our youths productively so that we can collectively curb insecurity in the state,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the Andoma of Doma who has been organizing yearly basketball tournament in the state in order to help discover talents who can make the state proud in basketball was also full of joy that Ejike Ugboaja foundation has come to compliment his efforts in the state by adding another dimension to it; which is awarding scholarship to discovered talents in both basketball and Nigeria-America football.
According to him, “My brother let me appreciate your intention to make Nasarawa State the hub of sporting activities; I know we made several efforts in the field of football. In basketball we have come up to initiate an open event that you have been supporting, and other supporters , now you are introducing America football in Nasarawa state, be rest assured the day they will start I will be there in person.
“We want to thank you for all that you are doing for the state, these are things we watch on television happening in other states, Lagos and today you have brought it to Nasarawa state some of us will be there with you,” he said.