By Amaechi Agbo
Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, Hon. AbdulLahi Adamu has expressed the determination of the area council administration under his watch to promote sports development in the council.
Popularly called Candido, the chairman who disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent in his office, described the AMAC Chairman’s Cup held annually and sponsored by the council as a landmark sporting competition initiated by the council towards promoting football and discovering future players for the FCT and the country at large.
The chairman who said that AMAC Council takes sports development seriously in view of its potentials in reducing social vices, creating job opportunities and producing sports icons, encouraged young ones to combine their football careers with education to become complete individuals.
The chairman spoke in the wake of the recently concluded 2017 AMAC Chairmanship Cup in which Young Tigers FC emerged champions.
“Government is a process and is continuum. We have the AMAC Chairman’s Cup which we have supported for years now and we will continue to support it as is expected of us. The competition took place recently and on the part of the government, we gave our maximum support.
“At the end, there were winners and losers but I don’t see anyone as a loser because participation alone made all of them winners and it was wonderful. They really enthralled me and by the special grace of God, this area council under my watch will continue to support the programme, year in, year out so that we can use the platform to identify future champions and will continue to make FCT proud in football.
“Sports help in reducing social vices and create job for our people. Therefore, will keep the momentum of our support and the tempo will remain high as we plan for 2018 edition of the championship.
“The spirit in me is to ensure that sport is encouraged no matter the challenges, financially or otherwise. We used to have challenges but they were never impediments.
We ensure that the little we have, we always attend to the needs of the sports. It is going to be a continued effort from my administration to ensure that this council supports sports development and competitions generally,” he said
On grassroots development, Candido said “Nobody should undermine sports these days because we are beginning to see that football is a career and a profession. Just like we have a medical doctor or lawyer, I think football itself and other sports must be encouraged and supported.
If you think that football cannot produce the president of this country, you are mistaken. A president has today emerged through football in Liberia and whichever way you want to describe him, you must refer to him as a former footballer and world best. The feat created and established by him has become a role model for other football fans and players.
“That is why I encourage the young ones that at their tender age, they must take two things at once; be good in their academics and also be good in their football career and the sky will by their limits.
“When I assumed office, I met a system that football is in the lead then followed by handball. But I encouraged my sports department to also discover other sports so that we can encourage them. You never can relegate any sport at all because some of them will make our children to excel in that capacity.
“Handball and football are paramount here but we are also looking at other local sports such as local boxing. Sometimes I take a ride to Dei Dei to watch local boxers and you see them making money from it. You might not know the value of that sport but these people who are the local boxers marry from it, buy cars and sustain their families.
“In a nutshell, we encourage the development of all sports in the Abuja Municipal Area Council and I have to do the best I can in that area by the special grace of God,” he concluded.
Young Tigers FC emerged the champions of 2017 Abuja Municipal Area Council Chairmanship tournament. The lads from Gwarinpa defeated Karshi Hawks to emerge champions on the final day of the competition whereas Unity Academy won the 3rd place match after defeating Theolasi FC in the 3rd place match.
For emerging champions, Young Tigers got N200, 000 prize money with additional N100, 000 donation from a sports fan and football lover, Tankor Yamahwo, Executive Coordinator, Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA. Karshi Hawks got N150, 000 cash reward with additional N50, 000 from Mr Yamahwo while Unity Academy was rewarded with N100, 000 plus N30, 000 donations.
AMAC Chairman’s Cup tournament is an annual competition contested for by clubs and teams within the FCT. Preparation for 2018 edition of the tournament is in top gear as the sports department of AMAChas promised bumper rewards for the winner of the trophy this year. The date of the tournament will be communicated in due course.