The Ibite has won the one million naira cash price of the ‘2021 Ogugu Unity Cup’ tournament that was played on Sunday at Ogugu Central School in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Ibite village defeated Uhuagbo village to emerged winner at the final match with alone goal in the highly contested tournament while Ezioha Ogbodu came third.
The tournament which was organised annually to unite the seven villages of Ogugu Community from age long crisis, using the youth as the peace ambassadors, was sponsored by one Chief Aloysius Ogbonna.
Addressing journalists shortly after trophy, medals and cash prices were presented to the winner, second and third runner up, Chief Ogbonna Jnr. commended the youths of the community for conducting themselves in a manner that saw the success of the tournament and praised their villages for their support.
Ogbonna said that all the seven villages in the Ogugu community – Ezioha Ogbodu, Ezioha, Uhuahu, Uhuagbo, Ibite, Ugwuoma and Uhuokpo fully participated in the tournament.
He said that the love he had for football and need to unify the town that “I decided to explore football to galvanise our youths for peace building among the villages in Ogugu and beyond.”
“I love football and apart from loving football, I know that football is a unifying factor in our town, even in Nigeria when Super Eagle plays football there is nothing like Yoruba or Igbo or Hausa – every Nigeria is united and the same thing happens in my town. And so because we want to bring peace, complete peace in our town that is one of the reasons I donated this cup and termed it ‘Unity Cup’.”
Ogbonna, who said 20 best players from the teams would be selected and exported to Europe, disclosed that the process of selection would commence on Wednesday, and they would be trained at the Rangers FC camp before exporting them to Europe.
“I am going to pick twenty best players to Europe and the idea is basically to expose them to play major football outside because football is now a means of earning a living.
“So we want to encourage them if they do well on Wednesday, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports will come and they will begin the selection of the best players and those selected, they will take them to Rangers to train and from there we will export them to oversee.”
Earlier, the traditional ruler of Mmaku Kingdom, one of the influential traditional rulers in Enugu State, HRH Igwe Nnanevo Cyprian Obai, while presenting the trophy to the winning team, advised the youths of the community against indulging in hard drugs especially methamphetamine otherwise known as ‘Mkpuru Mmiri’.
He warned that he would use his position and influence to ensure that anyone caught taken or selling Mkpuru Mmiri, including their sponsors no matter how highly placed is jailed.
“If you sell Mkpuru Mmiri or you take it, so far you are from Enugu State I will ensure that you go to jail. If Aloysius Ogbonna or the two Commissioners present here are taken Mkpuru Mmiri they will not be who they are. So please come out from taking Mkpuru Mmiri and if there is anybody who is sponsoring or supporting taken Mkpuru Mmiri we will send the person to prison,” he warned.
Meanwhile, the winner of the tournament went home with N1 million cash price, while the 2nd and 3rd positions went home with cash prices of N300,000 and N200,000 respectively.