The center for Peace and Environment Justice, CEPEJ sponsored and facilitated Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity Cup 2019 on Tuesday got the royal blessings of one of the paramount rulers from the South South geopolitical zone of Nigeria, the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli as he pledged his royal support towards the success of the football tournament.
The assurance from the Royal Father followed a courtesy call by the local organizing committee, and the initiator of the tournament, Comrade Sheriff Mulade in their quest to further seek support for the football tournament as well as seek the Monarch's acceptance to become the Royal Father of the Day at the Mulade Peace Cup Competition, 2019.
Welcoming the team to his palace in Warri, the royal father restated his belief in peaceful co- existence and equality. He emphasized the need for Urhobo, Itsekiri, Ijaw, Anioma and Isoko Nations that constitute Delta State, to see themselves as one and allow equity and love for one another be their watch words, irrespective of tribal or language differences. He said no ethnic group should see itself as superior to another as we all are created by the same God.
The traditional ruler also enjoined the LOC and the initiator of the football tournament to seek other ways apart from football in ensuring that the message of tolerance for one another, peaceful co- existence and nation building is propagated to the nooks and crannies of the State. He said he wants a situation where all Deltans could do things together without bickerings, ethnic chauvinism, infiltration and clash of interests. He opined that when ill-feelings are absent in a group, the people are bound to be successful, progressive and well developed.
He said in trying to see Delta State developed, acrimonious feelings, gangsterism, vandalism, economic and financial frauds, wrong appointments, self-serving persons, usurpation of projects and infrastructure and other things inimical to progress and development should be eradicated from the State and the country at large.
The LOC used the visit to present a branded jersey for the tournament to the royal father, and asked him to appoint a representative of the palace to be one of the local organizing committee members.
The Chairman of the LOC, Honorable Ken Nwamucha and Comrade Sheriff Mulade both thanked the royal father for the warm reception accorded them and for accepting to be the royal father for the tournament.
They said they would still reach out to other notable traditional rulers in the region for their support for the Ijaw/Itsekiri peace and unity cup football tournament.
In a related development, the Chairman of the LOC, Ken Nwamucha said that arrangements for the 2019 Mulade peace cup, had reached an advanced stage, with kick-off on the 16th of November, and official draws scheduled to hold on the 6th of November, 2019.
Sixteen clubs comprising eight teams each from the two ethnic groups, Ijaw/Itsekiri taking part in this year's tournament have already registered and confirmed their readiness to be part of this year's edition of the championship.