Former Secretary to Government of the Federation and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Ufot Ekaette
Former Secretary to Government of the Federation and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Ufot Ekaette, has taken up membership of the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja in order to promote national unity.
Ekaette was one of the 106 prominent individuals which included former Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Ojo Maduekwe; Senator Sanusi Daggash; Managing Director/CEO for Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mustafa Chike-Obi, and a businessman, Prince Abayomi Akinruntan; who were newly inducted as members of the club Thursday.
The 73-year-old technocrat said after the induction ceremony that he was fascinated into embracing golf by the motto of IBB Club: ‘National Unity through Recreation.’
He told THISDAY that he took the decision to start playing the game because golf can be employed to deepen Nigeria’s unity as well as tackle the challenges of integrity in the country.
“I have been in the business of promoting national unity over the years. I have done it before. Having left service, I now have the opportunity of reaching out to Nigerian people, helping to promote national cohesion through recreation,” Ekaette said.
He said his age notwithstanding, he would now start to learn about the game and have more time to walk on the fairways as he is no longer in active service.
For someone who is a golf beginner, it was a pleasant surprise to hear Ekaette air views on the game as if he had been playing the game for over a half of a century.
But the former civil servant, who was a former principal secretary to ex Head of State Yakubu Gowon, said the little he gleaned from the game was from his friends who were golfers.
“I have many friends who are golfers and they used to drag me to come and join them. But at the time, I was too busy in the office, but now that I am retired I have all the time to myself and can afford to play as often as I want to”.
Ekaette noted that recreation is a major benefit that can be derived from golf, saying that it is a game that helps in building sound body and sound mind.
“There is nothing like recreation, it opens up your mind, it opens up your brain and you start to think well. Another thing is that golf can be applied to promote integrity which is one of the things lacking in this country”.