The necessity of Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Football Tournament
By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board
As the 3rd edition of the Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Football Tournament initiated by Chief Sheriff Mulade, Ibe-sorimowei of Gbaramatu kingdom and National Coordinator/CEO, Center for Peace & Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), kicks off on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, it will not be wrong to say that the football tournament remains the single most important initiative, programme and action that have brought about an encompassing improvement of peace between the Itsekiri and Ijaw ethnic nationalities of Delta South Senatorial district, Delta state, Nigeria.
Aside from having a process that builds on itself and involve both individuals and social change, the competition has not only helped to unite the people but deepened and promoted peaceful coexistence between Ijaw and Itsekiri people in the state irrespective of age, sex, social status, education and creed.
Even traditional institutions are not left out in this football induced peace and unity.
For instance, GbaramatuVoice had earlier reported that on Monday, November 7, 2022, the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, while playing host to Chief Mulade Sheriff and members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) who paid him a courtesy visit in his palace where he gave his endorsement and royal blessings to the peace and unity football event, said that he would have loved to play in the 2022 Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Football competition scheduled to start on November 16, 2022.
The Olu applauded Chief Comrade Sheriff Mulade for initiating such a laudable programme and treated the LOC members to a cheerful reception. He promised to liaise with Mr. Amaju Pinnick to bring his wealth of experience in football management to support the process. He then endorsed the football tournament with his royal blessings and prayed for a successful Ijaw/Itsekiri football competition.
In the same vein, members of the Local Organizing Committee, LOC , on the 11th of Nov, 2022, were received by His Royal Majesty, Oboro Gbaraun II, Aketekpe, Agadagba of Gbaramatu Kingdom in his palace at oporoza, the traditional headquarters of the kingdom.
Comrade Mulade also briefed the Pere on why the competition would be held as stated in the draw/fixtures of the competition which will enable both Ijaw and Itsekiri teams to meet at the final. He intimated the Palace that the 3rd edition would spread across the three (3) Warri LGAs for all inclusiveness.
In his response, the monarch appreciated the organizer’s initiative and implored him to continue with the preaching and spreading of the need for peaceful coexistence because peace is not negotiable; he also enlightened the LOC team on the importance of peace to attract development to Delta particularly Warri and environs. The Pere made a cash donation to the organizers of the Ijaw/Itsekiri tournament. He encouraged the untiring contribution of the LOC towards uniting Ijaw/Itsekiri, the importance of which is crucial to harnessing the dividend of development and opportunities to our people.
Also, at Ogbe-Ijoh, the Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Football Tournament initiated by Chief Sheriff Mulade, received a very strong commendation from the Pere Ama-Okosu of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Monbene III.
The Monarch who recently played host to the organizers of the football tournament appreciated and thanked the organizers, particularly the promoter, Comrade Mulade Sheriff for this laudable initiative to reunite the Ijaw and Itsekiri with age-long lovely neighborliness, and implored him to continue with the good works and spread the message of peaceful coexistence, as the importance of peace cannot be overemphasized.
He encouraged the untiring contribution of the LOC towards uniting Ijaw/Itsekiri the importance of which is crucial to harnessing the dividend of development and opportunities to our people. The renowned Niger Delta monarch prayed for the team to succeed and achieve its purpose.
In the show of love, peace and unity, Chairman of the LOC, Hon Kenneth Nwaomucha who doubled as the Chairman of Delta State Football Association thanked the King for his kind gesture and presented the branded T-shirt of the tournament to Pere. Highlights of the programme were exchange of pleasantries.
As GbaramatuVoice appreciates Chief Sheriff Mulade, Ibe-sorimawei of Gbaramatu kingdom and National Coordinator/CEONational Coordinator/CEO, Center for Peace & Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), for this initiative, the Newspaper specially observes that what makes this year’s tournament remarkable is that it is going to be used to commemorate the International Day of Tolerance.
It is on this not that GbaramatuVoice calls on all well meaning Ijaw/Itsekiri sons and daughters to support this laudable project as it has brought to the Itsekiri and Ijaw ethnic nationalities of Delta South Senatorial district, an encompassing improvement of peace and sustained unity.
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