Oligie community in Igbanke, Orhionmwon local government area of Edo state, has lifted the Igbanke Unity Football Competition 2018 trophy. The team achieved this feat by defeating the defending champion [Ake] in the final game which held on Saturday at Igbanke Grammar school’s football pitch.

The competition featured under Igbanke Football Club (IFC), a subsidiary of Igbanke National Progressives Association (INPA). INPA is a social-cultural group led by Barrister Mrs. Gloria Eluebo Adagbon and Mr. Chris Olubor.

The competition which kicked off in July 2018 involved the six clans that made up Igbanke community.

The match which commenced at about 3pm on Saturday, September 1st, 2018, attracted teeming spectators who were apprehensive as to which team would lift the Unity Cup. However, Omolua team which also participated in the competition clinched the 3rd place position.

Spectators and fans who graced the event from various communities to watch the match live cut across Royal Fathers in Igbanke communities and several dignitaries from far and wide. Among them were His Royal Highness, the Enogie of Ottah, His Royal Highness, the Enogie of Idumodin, His Royal Highness, the Enogie of Igbontor and His Royal Highness, the Enogie of Omolua Dr. I. O. Uwaifo, [JP], Chairman, Enigie, Chiefs and Elders Forum of Igbanke.

Also in attendance were Mr Ukpere Iweka, Special Assistant to Governor Obaseki, Hon. Frank Isede, Special Assistant to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Comr Ogochukwu Isioma, Personal Assistant to Edo State APC Publicity Secretary, among others.

The event became frenzy when the representative of Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, deputy governor of Edo state, arrived with other delegates to witness the grand finale of the tournament. The deputy governor was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Hon. Kingsley Ehigiamusor, Chief Press Secretary, Elder Musa Ebomemie, Edo State APC Deputy Chairman, Barr. Donald Ojemeh Okogbe among other members in the entourage.

In her words of commendation to the deputy governor, convener of the group, Barrister Mrs. Gloria Eluebo Adagbon said: “Thank you very much my digital Deputy Governor for putting smiles on the faces of our people. You not only sent a full entourage and your press crew, you also participated fully by contributing to the success of this competition and ensuring that the teams were well taken care of. You have written your name in the hearts of the people of Igbanke. We never felt your absence as we were overjoyed by the gifts of love and enjoyed your excellent team”.

She added by saying, “I can say that Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu is a true man of integrity, honour, simple, passionate, humble with a rare gift of connecting with the common man and he has lit up Igbanke with joy. This is not the first time he is doing it, he did it before, he has done it again and will do it over and over again.
Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu is a true friend of Igbanke. We appreciate his wonderful and unflinching support for grassroot football”.

Responding, the representative of the deputy governor said the state government under the leadership of Governor Godwin Obaseki is committed to developing the state through sports, adding that “government will embark on building 21 stadia across the state which the [Orhionmwon] local government stands to benefit (from).”

He added by saying, “the Deputy Governor, being a lover of sports, appreciates what INPA is doing through sports and urge other communities to emulate them.”

Other pillars behind the success of the tournament include members of INPA Board of Trustee/Sponsors. They are Mr Smart Adagbon, Mr. Chris Olubor, among others.

The Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu, provided the prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd categories.