By Clarkson Ogo & Cletus Opukeme, Warri
The Ogidigben football club defeated Okerenkoko football club at Benikurukuru community secondary school pitch at the finals of the Ijaw/Itsekiri Unity and peace cup tournament with 6-5 victory.
The Ogidigben fc also went home with the trophy and a cash prize of One million naira (N1,000.000.00) gift from the organiser, Comrade Sherif Mulade.
The Okerenkoko fc lost to the Ogidigben fc after 1-1 initial victory at the completion of the 90 minutes battle which they lost extra time five penalty kicks to Ogidigben fc with 6-5 victory and came second winner with a cash gift of seven hundren thousand (N700,000,00) from Comrade Sherif Mulade. The Ajudiabo fc clinced the third position after defeating the Kunukunuma fc with 3-1 victorty with a cash gift of five hundred thousand naira (N500,000,00)
Defender Jeremiah of Ogidigben fc scored the first goal against Okerenkoko fc at 35minutes in the first half which sent cold to both the players and fans in Okerenkoko as well as the Ijaw teams.
However, Precious Pius after a lot of meandering movement over several attackers and made a straight kick and scored a goal against the Ogidigben at 65 minutes in the second half that rekindled the joy and excitement of the already dwindling Okerenkoko players and fans. But all effort seemed to be fruitless at the extra minutes free penalty kicks at the completion of the 90minutes that favoured the Ogidigben fc with a 6-5 victory and a cash gift of One million naira (N1million) as the winner of the 2019 Ijaw/ Itsekiri peace and unity cup edition, otherwise Sheriff Mulade peace cup.
The match however, achieved its purpose of peace and unity between the Ijaw and Itsekiri as both youths were seen in happy mood full of excitement and celebration, even though the Ijaws were defeated in their own pitch.
The organiser of the Ijaw competition, Comrade Sheriff Mulade while speaking with the press, said, ‘‘ We have achieved our dreams. Sports event suh as this is meant to showcase the collective talents of the youths rather than recognising only the winners. This event has. No doubt, reached more than 1,200 Ijaw and Itseliri youths since its inception in 2017. Many youths in the riverine communities of Warri South LGA have been encouraged. This sports tournament has helped to encouraged and develop peaceful relationship among the youths in the riverine communities in diverse ethnic youth groups’ psychological well;-being and resilience and also helped to raise young players and their self-esteem.
”I assure you, we have already designed the frame-work of the 2020 tournament which will be more exciting than this year’s own. We have used this tournament to discover young talents which will form the coastal community’s fc in Delta state. That to the best of my knowledge and God’s grace, some may feature in Nigeria Super Eagle and other international clubs’’ he said.
They tournament was featured with sixteen football clubs represented by the major various communities in Warri South West Local Government area of Delta state.