From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Defense, and Senator representing Plateau North, Istifanus Gyang, has announced that former Plateau Governor Sen Jonah Jang, Deputy Speaker House of Representatives Rt Hon Ahmed Idris Wase and Captain of the Nigeria Super Eagles Ahmed Musa would all be kicking off the Plateau North Peace, Unity and Reconciliation football tournament on Saturday, January 23.
The Plateau senator said the tournament, which will be declared open on Saturday at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium in Jos, has 24 qualified teams out of the 73 electoral wards from the senatorial district.
Sen Gyang disclosed this on Wednesday when coaches and the technical crew made up of former Super Eagles players Sam Pam and Sambo Choji performed the group stage draw at his Jos residence.
‘As a beneficiary of the mandate of the people of Plateau North, we have this persuasion, conviction and given our vision on how we can be part of the process of restoring peace to Plateau North giving the challenges that we have passed through as a people of the Senatorial District and as a state,’ the senator stated.
‘The challenges of insecurity that we have passed through as a state has today become a national phenomenon and we have had a strong case that the rest of the country should take interest in what is happening in Plateau state to address the issues without sentiment.
‘I am persuaded as a person that anywhere sentiment is allowed to guide the way we respond to issues that have to do with communal coexistence of our people, it will always lead to a counter-productive result.
‘Today in Plateau North, we have become a model of how to overcome insecurity, how to overcome communal conflicts, how to overcome hate, how to overcome segregation, how to overcome prejudice and how to embrace one another in peace, brotherhood and in reconciliation.
‘We will want to be a model for the rest of the country, particularly parts of the country that is now grappling with what we have passed through.”
He said the tournament is very imperative, being one of the major platforms being used to achieve the dream of consolidating peace, unity and reconciliation in Plateau North.
Sen Gyang said the tournament has attracted a positive response from the grassroots, coupled with the level of participation and interest the people have shown during the preliminaries which were played at the various Local Government Areas.
He explained that there would be a novelty match by select Nigerian ex-internationals shortly before the kick-off.
The Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Kim Chong, urged all the participating team to observe the rules of the game so that the aim of organizing the tournament would be achieved.
He presented a progress report to Senator Gyang and the challenges of the technical crew with a view to addressing them.