USIP Sponsors Football Competition to Promote Peace-building in Benue Community.
By Worldview Magazine.
In a bid to promote peaceful coexistence in communities in some parts of Benue State, the United States Institutes for Peace (USIP) in partnership with Ritdimwa Doofan Orga has organised a football tournament to promote peace in Konshisha local government area of the State.
Speaking during a novelty football match in Adoka community in Konshisha between Heavy Stone FC and Diamond Star, Ms. Orga said the purpose of the football competition was to use soccer as a platform to propel the youth as relevant stakeholders in the area of problem-solving and peace-building in the community.
Orga who is a member of the Network of Nigerian Facilitators noted that the competition with the theme; ‘Win Big with Peace’ was to inspire the youth to play an active role in peace-building activities at the local level.
“It’s a thing of joy to me as an organiser and I am sure our sponsor; The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) will be happy too with the outcome of this exercise which is aimed at raising peace ambassadors through sports.
“I want to appreciate both teams and the officials for working in the interest of peace in the community by availing
their structures to promote and strengthen peacebuilding in this area.
“This should not end here, I encourage every one of us going forward to make decisions that promote and invest in peace-building in our various communities, for indeed we are all winners today,” she said.
In his remark, a community leader and retired sports personality, Mr Emmanuel Ujege, said working with the youth to strengthen structures to uphold peace was imperative for development and lasting peace in communities in the area and beyond and urged the communities to take ownership of the platform to promote peace.
On his part, Mr. Daniel Aishi, the Commandant of the Community Volunteer Guard (CVG) encouraged the youth to shun violence but use sports platform as a means of achieving peace and stability for the interest of the community and state.
Also speaking, Hon. Chia Igundunase, the immediate past Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, commended the organiser for giving the youth a vibrant platform to engage in peace-building activities in the community.
He pledged to set up a structure to provide a 1-year mentorship for both football teams to ensure the sustainability of the initiative.
In his vote of thanks, the Kindred Head, Zaki Torngu Asa appealed to the players and people of the community to follow the path of peace for the good of the community and the State.
Our correspondent reports that the coaches, Mr. Achir Terzungwe of Diamond Star FC and Mr. Wisdom Yila of Heavy Stone FC both commended USIP and the organiser for the opportunity accorded them to partake in the competition.
Played at the Covenant Secondary School, Adoka Football ground on December 11, 2022, Diamond Star FC defeated Heavy Stone FC by 2-0, with both teams receiving cash prizes and customized jerseys.