The second edition of the Comrade Amb. Sheriff Mulade Ijaw/Itsekiri Peace and Unity cup will begin November 16 to November 30 2019 in Warri South-West of Delta State.
According to a statement made available by the Sponsor/initiator of the biennial football competition, Ambassador Comrade Sheriff Mulade officially declared that the football competition which is also known as “Comrade Sheriff Mulade peace and unity cup” started in 2017, noting that the essence of the game was set up as a critical forum to demonstrate and promote the oneness, peace and unity among Ijaw and Itsekiri communities who have had a long history of rivalry and conflicts.
Comrade Mulade who is also the National Coordinator Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, also revealed that his reasons to use the round leather game, which is recognized world wide “is to forester Peace in his Ijaw/Itsekiri regions”, came from his knowledge of Football as an instrument that builds tranquility, cohesion, love and unity.
He disclosed that the football competition is also part of the efforts he puts in place to harness football talents in Delta State.
Comrade Mulade, is a member of the Delta State Football Association Board, ( DFAB ), noted that the 2nd edition of the annual Comrade Mulade Sheriff Peace is also focused at discovering young talents in the riverine communities of Warri South-West of Delta State.
Comrade Mulade, in his statement in Warri, disclosed that the competition will concentrate on building peaceful coexistence and promoting unity among Ijaw, Itsekiri and Ilaje people in Warri and its environs, assuring that attention will also be on selection of young players with exceptional talents for professional football playing.
According to him, “the communities will have to pick younger players to represent them because African Grassroots Football Development team will be on ground to select the best players.” He said they should therefore not go out of their communities to hire players, so that gifted youths in the riverine areas can be discovered.
He cautioned against winning at all costs which has badly destroyed football at the local and national levels in Nigeria.
The CEPEJ Boss said this year’s competition will hold in two venues to give a sense of belonging to the three tribes, with one venue each in Itsekiri and Ijaw towns to further cement the relationship among them, pointing out that this year’s event will be played on a knockout basis featuring teams from Ijaw, Itsekiri and Ileja communities within Warri and its environs.
Meanwhile, Comrade Mulade has also appealed to well-meaning individuals and corporate organizations to partner with the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, in the sponsorship of the IJAW/ ITSEKIRI PEACE & UNITY CUP, to help promote peaceful coexistence, build bridges of unity, attract development and create enabling environment for Deltans, particularly Multi-National oil and gas companies operating within the area.
He noted that companies and individuals partnering in the great drive to uplift the youths through football will be welcomed.
Comrade Mulade added “Partnership will make the competition bigger and more laudable,” noting that it would be glorious on their parts to discover and build talents which will be epochal in communities where they do business.