In the complete utilization of football charm and unifying prowess as an irreplaceable tool for championing the cause of social reconciliation in a state marred by ethnic and religious conflicts, the Plateau State Football Association led by Hon Dr Suleiman Yahaya Kwande on Tuesday, 26th March, 2024 officially confirmed the award of the hosting right of 2023 Plateau State Governor’s Cup Finals to the Transition Implementation Committee Chairman of Mangu Local Government, Hon Markus Artu when the PFA Board paid a courtesy call on the Council Chairman in his office at Mangu

Hon Dr Suleiman Yahaya Kwande, Chairman Plateau State Football Association said “We are here to pay you a courtesy call and again sympathize with you and the good people of Mangu over the unfortunate crisis that erupted in the Local Government. You will recall that we were here earlier this year to identify with the good people of Mangu when the dastardly act of annihilation took place”

“Secondly, we came to formally inform you of the 2023 Governor’s Cup Finals. About a month ago, we paid a courtesy call on the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Hon Bashir Lawandi Datti and told him that we want to play the finals in Mangu, normally, finals are played in Jos but we decided this time to take it away from the state’s capital to the grassroots and particularly Mangu”

Harnessing the unifying factor of football to unite communities, create a common ground, and strengthens the bond of brotherhood targeted at breaking the vicious circle of conflicts, Kwande noted that “Mangu has been in the news for the wrong reasons but in view of the return of peace due to the industrious labour of His Excellency, Barr Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang, Executive Governor of Plateau State, we want to use the finals to show the whole world that we really have peace in Mangu, so we deemed it necessary to come officially to intimate you that your dear Local Government has been picked to host the finals of this year’s governor’s cup”

“We have discussed with the Director of Protocol, Government House and are awaiting His Excellency, Barr Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang confirmation of a date that would be convenient for him to grace the finals, so we are having the governor during the finals, members of the State Executive Council, Local Government Chairmen and the football house shall be led by Alh Ibrahim Musa Gusau, President, Nigeria Football Federation”.

“We shall be playing two matches that day; the 3rd place match between Shendam and Wase Local Governments and the finals between Mangu and Jos North”.

“Let me clarify that the choice of Mangu Mini Stadium as the venue of the finals was made even before Mangu got to the finals so there was no need changing the venue. Even in Europe, Champions League finals are played at the selected venues regardless of the fact that a club from the host nation qualified for the finals”

“I want to sincerely welcome you to my office to see how we can together make this year’s Governor’s Cup beautiful. Let me commend you for choosing Mangu, the home of football”

Hon Markus Artu beaming with smiles and swimming in the pool of optimism boasted that “I have no doubt in my mind that for coming to give us this match ball, it is like a prophetic gesture because I know that the Cup is ours just for the asking. It is coming to Mangu and we will prepare very well so that we can keep it at home”

“Afterall we trashed Jos North in Langtang Mini Stadium during the group stage so is it here in Mangu, our home that we will not trash them? We will repeat the feat again. By the grace of God”

“Let me assure you that we will work with you to make the finals beautiful and colourful. In Mangu we have had both challenges and interesting times, recently. We have on our own, organized a couple of football competitions as part of peace building process towards complete reconciliation in the Local Government so bringing the governor’s cup is like an icing on the cake for us because it is going to expose our peace to the world”.

“Indeed, the world is going to see that as a people, we have resolved to work together for peace. There is nothing that binds people, especially the youth, together than football. With this singular gesture of choosing Mangu, you have shown that you are truly Ambassadors of peace”

“Let me assure you that we shall be working closely with Mangu Amateur Football Association, MAFA to ensure that all that is required to done in the stadium is done before the finals. We have already started behind the scene preparation and I know His Excellency is desirous of fixing the stadium because people have come to access the stadium but on our part we shall do the needful so that the boys will be glad and the atmosphere will be tantalizing”

“Thank you for choosing Mangu once again, you will enjoy our hospitality. We still remain the haven of peace despite our little set-back”

Highlight of the occasion was presentation of the 2023 Governor’s Cup Portrait and Match Ball to the Council chairman before the undertaking an on the spot facility inspection of the Mangu Mini Stadium led by Hon Dr Suleiman Yahaya Kwande accompanied by 1st Vice Chairman, Hon Ezra Simon Godit, Hon Ajiji Ishaya, Jonah Mafwalal, Miri Timnan Nyantau, Garba Audu amongst others

©PFA Media 2024


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