26th August, 2017
The Turakin Loko in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Adamu Abdul, says he is organising a football competition between the Agatu community of Benue and Loko community to foster unity and peaceful co-existence among the people.
Abdul, who also is the Oyishoma (Worthy son) of Agatu Chiefdom, made this known on Saturday in Loko, Loko Development Area of the state.
He said the event would hold on Sept. 1, in order to bring the two communities together in a convivial environment and restore normal socio-economic relationships.
He said that the competition would take place in Loko to unite Agatu farmers and herdsmen in the two states as a result of protracted crises that engulfed the area from 2014.
He revealed that the match would be played between Agatu United Football Club of Benue and Loko United Football Club of Nasarawa State where governors Samuel Ortom and Tanko Al-Makura would be guests of honour.
“ What spurred me also to organise the competition is to complement Gov. Al-Makura and his Benue counterpart, Gov. Samuel Ortom, in returning peace to the affected communities,’’ the philanthropist said.
Abdul revealed that the two governors would, among others, receive leadership awards of excellent for the promotion of peace and for embarking on people oriented projects.
According to him, sport is a valuable tool for national integration, adding that apart from physical well-being, sports can play an important role for a safer, more prosperous and more peaceful society through its educational values and worldwide network.
“I started this football competition in 2008 as an annual event where about 24 teams are participating and the competition is aimed at fostering unity, peace and harmony among the people of the diverse ethnic, religious and political groups in my area, Benue state and even part of Kogi are participating.
“But this year’s competition, it is going to be between Agatu United Football Club of Benue state and Loko United Football Club of Nasarawa state so as to bring Agatu, Loko people and herdsmen together, in unity and peace for the overall development of my area, the state and the country at large.
“As we are aware like any other sports, there is no permanent enemy in sports, this competition will bring together and unite the Agatu/Loko farmers and herdsmen especially the youths irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political affiliation.
“The competition will also provide an avenue for the two communities, farmers, herdsmen and other people to interact, to exchange positive ideas and pleasantries as well as making the youth to discover their hidden talents as well as reducing youth restiveness in my area and the state at large,’’ he said.
Abdul also disclosed that he has offered free eye treatment and assisted students of his area with bursary among other humanitarian interventions to cater for their health and educational needs as part of his contribution to uplift the lives of his people.
He called on Nigerians to be law abiding, respect constituted authorities, live in peace and shun all negative tendencies in order to achieve permanent peace in the country.
The traditional title holder restated his commitment to continue to key in to youths and people friendly programmes in order to better the standard of living of the people of the area and the state at large.