Christian Obodo, Sam Sodje, others storm Benikururu for third edition of Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Cup
…The essence of this tournament is to reduce hostility among us – Mulade
Former Super Eagles players, Christian Obodo and Sam Sodje were present as the third edition of the Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Cup organised by the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) kicked-off/opening ceremony on Wednesday.
GbaramatuVoice writes that High Chief Sheriff Mulade of Gbaramatu Kingdom is the founder of CEPEJ. Aside from using the NGO as a platform to fight for environmental justice for the Niger Deltans, the activist is also promoting tolerance and peaceful co-existence among the Itsekiris and the Ijaws who were at war some years back.
Speaking in the sidelines in the kick-off match between the itsekiri leaders and Ijaw leaders, the activist spoke about the importance of the tournament.
Mulade said: “The essence of this tournament is to try and reduce the hostility among us. Some years ago, we had some misunderstanding. That led to what is known as the Warri crisis. So, what we are doing is to build the relationship. So for you to join us is to support this celebration of peaceful co-existence.”
The activist also talked on the reason why the local organising committee brought former super Eagles super stars who hail from Delta State.
Mulade continued: “We brought them to show our people that talent is here and to tell aspiring footballers that they can also grow to become an international player. That is why we brought them to encourage our people here that these are young men from Nigeria that have played at the national and international levels.
He also talked about the opportunities for aspiring professional footballers saying that scouts have been coming as four persons have been picked since the commencement of the cup three years ago.
Also, the former commissioner of oil and gas in Delta State, Barr. David Peter Ekereosu, who represented the Governor of Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, heaped praises on Chief Mulade Sheriff for the initiative.
Barr. Ekereosu, who is now an executive assistant to the Delta State governor applauded the initiative of the programme as peace is a prerequisite for development.
GbaramatuVoice writes that the tournament features 18 teams, eight from Itsekiri and eight from Ijaw communities.
In the first round of the tournament, in group 1, Oboghoro FC will tackle Koloko FC and Ubeji FC will lock horns with Ugborodo FC.
In group 2, Itsekiri FC will play Ogidigben FC while JAKPA/TEBU will tackle Ebrohimi FC.
In group 3, Warri Ijaw NPA FC will play Diebiri FC and Benekrikru FC will slug it out with Ogbe-Ijoh FC. In group 4, Kurutie FC will play against Okerenkoko fc and Oporoza FC will play against Opuama/polobubor FC.