Yola’2017 Annual Polo Festival Gallops-off
The ancient kingdom of Adamawa is in one of its grandest moments as the prestigious 2017 Yola Annual galloped off on a blistering note yesterday at the legendary Aliyu Musdafa Polo Ground, with teams from all the major polo centers across the country vying for top honours.
Reputed as the biggest polo carnival in the north eastern part of the country, the eight days events inaugurated in the early 1930s, offers four glittering cups as its major prizes and over seven subsidiaries trophies to be won.
One of such cups with long history of surprises is the highly revered Lamido Cup that has over the decades, been providing more competition and electrifying moments than any other prize in the century old history of the Yola polo festival.
Not for the first time this cup has been racing up the billing as the tournament’s star attractions because of their cutting edge staple of dramatic robustness and heart stopping flourishes, the exact recipe that turns it on for polo fans who throng Yola annually from Europe, neighbouring Chad, Cameroun and Central African Republic in droves.
What stands the Lamido Cup out is quite simply. Apart from its pre-eminent position as the sole medium-goal title from Yola, the approach of the teams from Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi and host Yola is quite unique, a commitment no other prize can quite regularly induce.
Though the Royal Cup is few handicap notches below the Governor Cup here, it has consistently pushed more fans and higher spectator value with its all-action vibrancy that easily races the adrenaline and keeps polo buffs on their toes.
Lamido Cup has always produced plenty of surprises to underline the competitiveness of the sport and just last year, the prize played in honour of Lamido Adamawa, was in full blown of its unpredictable nature.
Perhaps the most eye-catching result in the exciting polo extravaganza came from the visiting teams where Port Harcourt representatives were deserved winners of three major prizes after beating top seeds en route to the finals where they sparkle and flourish to the admiration of the surging crowd.
Top rated Bello Buba who was voted the Most Valuable Player of the tournament pivoted the home side in a spectacular manner to defeat bookmakers’ favourites and former champions, Katsina Kangiwa 8-31/2 in the Governor’s Cup final.
His kid brother Hamisu Buba was the star of the Jos Malcomines’ Lamido Cup victory campaign. The Buba brothers are leading over two hundred other players to the festival and polo buffs are already heaping their bets on the Bubas to re-enact that 2016 magic.
Chief host and Grand Patron of Yola polo, the Lamido Adamawa HRH Alhaji (Dr,) Muhammedu Barkindo Musdafa, is expected to lead other first class Emirs across the northern region, with President Muhammadu Buhari expected as the Special Guest of Honour to the grand finale of the fiesta this weekend.