By Esther Eugene, Warri
The National coordinator of Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, Chief Sheriff Mulade, on Wednesday October 5th, 2022 unveiled the Local Organizing Committee, LOC Jersey for the 2022 Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Football Tournament, at Africa for Peace Center, CEPEJ’s Head Office, Ugolo-Okpe near Warri, Delta State.
Speaking at the event, Chief Mulade said that the 2022, Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Football Tournament also know as Comrade Mulade Sheriff Peace Cup, is to celebrate the age long peaceful relationship between the Ijaw and Itsekiri living in the three (3) Warri LGAs of Delta State.
While speaking on the date of commencement and venue of the football tournament, Chief Mulade said the football event is scheduled to start on the 16th of November 2022, to mark International Day of Tolerance in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal –SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and then climax on the 3rd of December, 2022.
The venues of the tournament will be at Benikrukru and Ugborodo communities in Warri South West, LGA. He said the selection of the venues was strategic, Benikrukru is an Ijaw community, while Ugborodo is an Itsekiri community. This was to show to the world that both ethnic groups are living in peace and unity, and it will enable both ethnic groups appreciate the importance of peace and tolerance and work to sustain the peaceful coexistence enjoyed by both ethnic groups.
The event was well attend by the local organizing committee, LOC, members and other peacebuilding organizations as well as supporters.
We will recall that on Tuesday September 20, 2022 at the same venue Sheriff Mulade inaugurated the LOC committee to kick-start the planning process and arrangement for a successful football tournament. Those inaugurated to serve in the committee were Hon. Kenneth Nwaomucha, Chairman; Navy Commodore Kingdom Itoko, (Rtd), Secretary; Mr. Matthew Itsekure, PRO; Mr. Victor Tonlagha, Director of Finance and Engagement; Omoboye Abosode, Director of Welfare; Mr. Azuka Chiemeka, Director of Media and Publicity; Amb. City Ojouworo, Director of Mobilization; Hon. Raymond Pirah, Director of Security; Dr. Jeffrey Wilikie, Asst. Director of Finance and Engagement; Mr. Philemon Ugedi, Asst. Director of Security; Mr. Bright Tortor- Benikrukru Venue Coordinator; Hon. Aboyewa Ikpoto, Director of Transport/Logistics; Hon. Bethus Ayotan, Asst. Director of Transport/Logistics; Mr. Wison Ejeh-Ugborodo Venue Coordinator; and Hon. Paul Kirifide, Organizing Secretary.
The Ijaw/ Itesekiri Peace and Unity Football Tournament is a biannual football competition organized by Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, coordinated and sponsored by Comrade (Chief) Sheriff Mulade, to promote peaceful coexistence of both ethnic groups after a period of disunity, crisis and disaffection, and to build bridges of unity, socio-economic development, as well as discover football talents at the grassroot level in Warri Area and other parts of Delta State.
Highlights of the event were the presentation of the jerseys to the committee members by the National Coordinator of Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, Comrade (Chief) Sheriff Mulade, as well as a group photograph.