Sunday Ehigiator writes that the silver jubilee anniversary to commemorate the 25th coronation ceremony of HRM, Oba Tijani Adetunji Akinloye, the Sateru 11, Ojomu of Ajiraland, provided an opportunity to engage the youths of the Ajira community
One of the most well-known and celebrated anniversaries is the 25th year, also known as the silver anniversary. Many have been known to engage in pomp and pageantry to mark that milestone. But for HRM, Oba Tijani Adetunji Akinloye, the Sateru 11, Ojomu of Ajiraland, the occasion of his 25th coronation anniversary, was an opportunity to give back to the community for being his backbone these long years.
Therefore, the throne has collaborated Victoria Crest Homes Limited, to empower youths in 16 different communities. The brain child of Victoria Crest Homes, the empowerment will come in the form of a football tournament.
Victoria Crest Homes Limited; a retail real estate company, which provides affordable luxury housing solutions to Nigerians, has thrown its weight behind the 2018 Oba’s Cup Tournament scheduled to hold from September 22, to October 22, 2018, at the newly built Ajiran Sport Complex. This tournament is one of the events lined out to celebrate Akinloye’s ascension to the throne.
The company announced the sponsorship of the event through its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Kennedy Okonkwo, at a press briefing held at Marco Polo Hotel, Chevron Drive, Lagos, immediately after concluding the draws for the tournament.
According to Kennedy, the Oba’s Cup is a football tournament which draws players from the different villages in Eti-Osa Local Government Area and its environs to come together to compete in a friendly manner to celebrate the Oba’s 25th anniversary.
He said: “We know that the youths are the future of tomorrow and the strength of every nation, that is why, as part of our cooperate social responsibility, we have identified the need to continue to empower youths in every area as sacrosanct to them as much as possible; especially in sports.
” As a company, we have just completed the renovation of the Ajiran Sport Complex, which is where this tournament would be held. All over the world, football tournaments encourages the spirit of sportsmanship among the youths in any area. It brings about unity, promotes oneness, preaches love, instills good morals, promotes peace and of course stands as a means of livelihood. This would be the second time we are sponsoring a competition of this magnitude. The first was about three years ago.
“This year, we are playing to celebrate our royal father by competing as brothers in the tournament through our display of sportsmanship and at no cost at all to all the communities participating. The competition is playing host to a total of 16 teams involving communities within and around Ajiran, namely; Ojumo, Oniru, Ikate, Ajiran, Agungi, Igbo-Efon, Idado-Balogu, Okun-Alfa, Lafiaji, Olugborogan, Ikota, Baruwa, Igbokusu, Tobalase, Moba, and Mobo.
“We have provided them with two sets of complete Jerseys respectively, and a sum of N50, 000 each for transiting and taking care of other logistics of the team. The competition would play host to several football scouts and hopefully, some of the boys would be discovered. The duration is for 30 days, and the final match would be played on the anniversary day itself, before the Oba and all dignitaries present.
“The prices to be won are as follows; first-placed team would go home with N500, 000; second-placed team would go home with N300, 000 and the third-placed team would go home with N200, 000. Also, the highest goal scorer of the tournament would be rewarded with a sum of N100, 000, and the best goal keeper of the competition; which would be decided by the least number of goals conceded would also go home with N100, 000.
“I want to finally advise the participants to embrace the spirit of fair play, love, oneness, and sportsmanship. Go out there and show your talent without being aggressive. Always remember that, the next man you kick out there is your brother, so, be your brother’s keeper.”
Speaking to THISDAY, Oba Akinloye’s representative, Chief Mumiru Akanbi Opeifa, the Arobadade of Ajiran said: “On behalf of Kabiyesi, I want to say that we are very grateful to Kennedy for honoring the crown in this way. The best thing that can ever happen to a community is if the youths are positively engaged in activities that will not only benefit them, but likewise benefit the whole community and the country in general.
” Kennedy has truly shown to the world that even with our different cultural background, we are can always be our brother’s keeper, even in the least ways. He is not even a Yoruba person, and he could think about this great innovation to the direct benefit of those that aren’t even from his tribe. This is really touching and I pray that he would reap all he has invested into this in multiple folds. His company shall continue to wax stronger on this soil. Once again, I say a big thank you to him on behalf of myself, the Oba and the whole community here represented.”
Also speaking to THISDAY, one of the officials of the tournament, Mr. Kazeem Sani, said, “This is a welcome development. Kennedy is not just a sportsman, but a philanthropist. We have known him from way back for his humanitarian acts, and this definitely won’t be the last. We are really grateful that he deemed it fit to use the upcoming celebration of the Oba, as an opportunity to empower and engage the youths.”
Afterwards, in an interview with THISDAY, Kennedy said: “This competition is about celebrating our father, upon his silver jubilee celebration anniversary. 25 years of being on the throne is a remarkable one, and we thank God for giving him life and giving him grace. What we tried to do here was to upgrade the facilities that we have there at Ajiran. We have upgraded the facility to 200-seater capacity covered pavilion. It’s a donation from us at Victoria Crest Homes LTD to the community, and it would be commissioned by his royal Majesty as part of the celebration. And the tournament is a 16- team football tournament with a total of 32 matches. Starting from September 22 to October 22, when the final would be played as part of the big event.
“And like I earlier stated, the prices goes from N500, 000 to N200, 000 for first place to third place and N100, 000 each for both the best goalie and highest goal scorer. There would also be several invited football scouts during the tournaments and hopefully, the boys would take advantage of this. My advice to all the team is to play with love. This is a celebration. They should devoid themselves off attitudes that could jeopardise another person’s health or sanity, as it would not be tolerated.”