The re-election of Francis Ogboro as president of the prestigious Nigeria Polo Federation (NPF) will help the growth of the game across the country, Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa has said.
Speaking on the successes recorded under Ogboro, Alhaji Musdafa described his the NPF leader, as a thorough bred that has waded through thick and thin to reposition the game as one of the biggest corporate sports in the country, attracting blue chips organisations.He also noted that “sports, particularly the game of polo, is a key passion point and a unifier among various age groups worldwide.”
According to the royal father, “Polo has gained acceptance from every part of the country, and provided the platform for entertainment, bonding and network opportunities. So, when these are merged, we are given the right platform to reach Nigerians across all segments.’’
Before his re-election in Yola, many pundits had predicted that the leadership battle would be a tough event between the incumbent Ogboro and a group of new comers, who boasted they had the magic wand on their hands.In the election supervised by a member of NPF’s Board of Trustees (BoT), General M. A. Garba (rtd.), Tanko Ayuba was elected first vice-president, Nura Kangiwa, second vice-president, Murtala Laushi became secretary, while Haruna Usman and Abdulkarim Jibril were chosen as secretary and treasurer respectively.
Abba Kangiwa became assistant treasurer, Sambo Idris (legal Adviser), with Salamatu Tilde and Abubakar Kari elected as the two ex-officio members of the administration.“The game of polo, being a classical and rich game, deserves classic, rich and passionate individuals with experience, reputation and a wide network to oversee and guide its affluent affairs.
“I started riding horse at the age of nine, and I have devoted real time and resources to the game of polo since 1994, and I was not too surprise that my first, second and past tenure as the President of the Nigeria Polo Federation revolutionised the game in the country and equally rebranded the face of the Nigerian game internationally.
“In the past, the most famous game in Nigeria was soccer, but today the tide of polo is waving strongly across the country and its popularity gaining more ground in the sporting arena. “That development has prompted the Federation of International Polo (FIP) to recognise Nigeria as one of the member nations with the largest number of polo clubs, and one of the few that the game of Polo is played all year round,” declared Ogboro in his victory speech.
Ogboro dedicated the honour to every member of the Nigerian polo family, pledging to redouble his efforts at growing the popularity of the noble game and repositioning it as one of the biggest drivers of country’s tourism industry.
“Our vision is to make sure that polo is played here in the country by many more Nigerians. We want to show the world that we can play polo and we’ve proven that over the decades. It’s a matter of growing the sport from the youth all the way through, boys and girls, men and women. And hosting tournaments in all the many polo centres across the country, would be a massive boost.”
He stated that the country’s triumphant return to the Polo World Cup in Malaysia was one of the biggest international sporting exploits he achieved as NPF president.
Source: G Sport