Jos Polo tour­ney as driving force for peace in the Plateau

Sunday Trust - - SPORT - Stories by Ernest Ekpeny­ong

In a bid to en­sure a long last­ing peace in Plateau State, the Jos Polo Club and cor­po­rate or­ga­ni­za­tions are hop­ing to use the no­ble game of kings, Polo for yet another quest at the forth­com­ing 2018 Jos Polo Tour­na­ment.

Polo has been the ma­jor driving force for peace in the state for decades now and that ster­ling plat­form is far from abat­ing.

Cap­tain of the Jos polo club, Yusuf Umoru Dauda said that de­spite the re­cent se­cu­rity chal­lenges in the state, stake­hold­ers be­lieve that the an­nual tour­na­ment will this year; con­tinue to fos­ter unity in the state.

A renown polo ad­min­is­tra­tor and a lawyer, Haroun Audu in­sist that polo as the sin­gle most pop­u­lar sports cum tourism fac­tor that at­tract tourists in their droves to the Tin City an­nu­ally, is key to re­turn of the much an­tic­i­pated last­ing peace in the state.

Audu, who is mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions ad­viser to one of the big­gest stake holder, NASCO Group, said the con­tin­u­ing in­volve­ment by bene­fac­tors in the Jos An­nual Polo Tour­na­ment is con­sciously an­chored on the com­mit­ment to pro­mote peace­ful co­ex­is­tence, through sports-tourism.

He noted that this bold step has and will con­tinue to sig­nal the re­turn and con­sol­i­da­tion of peace, har­mony and com­mu­nal re­la­tion­ships in Jos, Plateau State and its en­vi­rons.

“Polo play­ers, guests and tourists are ex­cited to be in Jos at this time of the an­nual polo tour­na­ment, united by their love for the game, and their at­trac­tion to Jos, Nige­ria’s fore­most home of peace and tourism.”

As you are read­ing this prepa­ra­tions are in top gears in the Tin city with the Jos Win­ter Polo Tour­na­ment billed for De­cem­ber 26 to Jan­uary 2, 2019, is al­ready upon us with many teams hit­ting town for this spe­cial end of year polo car­ni­val.

One such team that has al­ready be­come the talk –of-the-town is the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, Jos Mal­comines who are eye­ing another vic­tory to ex­tend their dom­i­na­tion to four straight wins.

Powered by the newly elected Sec­re­tary of the Nige­rian Polo Fed­er­a­tion (NPF), Mur­tala Laushe, Jos Mal­comines side are brand­ing a win­ning stretch that puts them head and shoul­ders above oth­ers jostling for the event’s big­gest prize, the Gover­nor’s Cup.

“We are pre­par­ing hard for this and when it comes to play­ing be­fore our teem­ing sup­port­ers, op­po­si­tions have very lit­tle chance of sur­viv­ing.” Laushe de­clares shortly af­ter lead­ing his team to another good out­ing at the Keffi Open in­ter­na­tional polo tour­na­ment.

Laushe who played vi­tal part in his team’s vic­tory run that started in Jos, runs through Zaria, Bauchi, Ar­gungu, Katsina, Yola and Keffi, is con­fi­dence that his squad has what it takes to re­tain the Gover­nor’s Cup for the third time in a row.

“We are pre­par­ing hard for this and when it comes to play­ing be­fore our teem­ing sup­port­ers, op­po­si­tions have very lit­tle chance of sur­viv­ing.” Laushe de­clares shortly af­ter lead­ing his team at 2018 Keffi Open in­ter­na­tional polo tour­na­ment.

“Jos Mal­comines polo team has a duty to make the gov­ern­ment and the proud peo­ple of Plateau State happy and we in­tend to give them a fit­ting xmas and New Year present by win­ning the main prize at stake ,” Laushi who dou­bles as the Tour­na­ment Man­ager de­clares.

Jos Polo Cap­tain, Dauda dis­closed that ma­jor prizes at stake are the Gover­nor’s Cup which is the big­gest re­ward, NASCO Cup, and Pres­i­dent Cup, with enough low goal teams on hand for thrilling con­test.

He also con­firmed that teams from Abuja, Zaria, Maiduguri, Katsina, Yola, Bauchi, Sokoto, Kano and Keffi are listed for ac­tions.

The week­long event will see the play­ers and the horses com­pet­ing for top hon­ours in the four main cham­pi­onship cups. There are also a hand­ful of sub­sidiary prizes spread on the bou­quet for in­di­vid­ual awards.

Nige­rian Polo Fed­er­a­tion (NPF) Pres­i­dent, Fran­cis Og­boro who con­firmed the readi­ness of the na­tional body to con­tinue its part­ner­ship with Jos Polo Club, de­clared that NPF was com­mit­ted to the pro­mo­tion of peace and tourism in Jos.

Og­boro, who de­scribed Jos as a spe­cial city, said na­tional polo rul­ing body was de­lighted to be part of the pres­ti­gious an­nual polo tour­na­ment and en­joys the tra­di­tional hospi­tal­ity of Plateau State peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly Jos, as the home of peace.

Jos Mal­comines Pa­tron, Mur­tala Laushi, (3rd from left) and his play­ers show­cas­ing the Gover­nor Cup they won two years ago.

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