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Plateau State Football Association Sets To Consolidate On The Peace Currently Enjoyed In The State With The Introduction Of Gbong Gwom’s Cup Competition:

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The quest for sustainable peace in societies faced with incessant attacks and peaceful disharmony has necessitated concerted strategies including the use of sports especially football – the most followed sports in the world. This strategy has been adopted by the Plateau State Football Association.

The association’s determination to employ the Gbong Gwom Jos Football Competition as a medium to build bonds of unity within Plateau State was disclosed by the Chairman, Plateau State Football Association, Hon Dr Suleiman Yahaya Kwande on Thursday when he led board and congress members on a courtesy call to the Berom Youth Moulder, BYM, Secretariat in Bukuru – Jos. BYM is the umbrella body of the Berom youth, a prominent tribe on the Plateau whose traditional ruler is known as Gbong Gwom, in whose honour the cup is to be played

Hon Dr Suleiman Yahaya Kwande, Chairman Plateau State Football Association, speaking at the meeting with Berom Youth Moulders (BYM)

The longest serving NFF Member said “Plateau State, globally known as Nigeria’s ‘Home of Peace and Tourism’, has been afflicted by intermittent occurrences of restiveness and violence. However, the introduction of the Gbong Gwom Jos Football Tournament serves as a counterforce, promoting peace and unity among the ethnically diverse population”

“The Gbong Gwom Jos Football Competition is an initiative aimed at fostering unity among various ethnic and socio-religious affiliations on Plateau” said Hon Kwande. The towering yet humble chairman explained that the decision to stage the Gbong Gwom’s Competition was consistent with the board’s resolution to champion the course of peace on the Plateau through the youth constituency who are always manipulated to take up arms against each other. And since football is predominantly a youth enthusiastic sports, there is no better sport to lead the charge for unity other than football and PSFA has strategically positioned itself to promote peaceful coexistence among the citizens” Kwande added further

The Former member representing Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency in the National Assembly said “to ensure that this strategy to consolidate on the peace so far achieved through the visionary leadership of Gov Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang is achieved, the PSFA utilizes the influence of Gbong Gwom Jos, the paramount traditional ruler of the state. The traditional ruler’s involvement affords the tournament greater legitimacy of promoting the State’s Chairman Council of Chiefs and Emirs, and aids the acceptance and participation of all ethnic groups within the state”

Kwande added to the admiration of his host audience that “the football competition serves as a reminder not just of our mutual love for football, but of our common involvement in community development facilitated through peace and tolerance. Also, it will serve as a platform to discover talents that will feed the two main government teams of Plateau United and Mighty Jets International of Jos”

“When you are playing on the pitch, you don’t profile your teammate based on his religious or ethnic affiliation. You only see him as a teammate. And when a goal is scored, you embrace yourselves in celebrating not minding any differences. This is what we seek to achieve with the Gbong Gwom’s Cup”

He assured the BYM of a collaborative approach between the two associations where they will jointly be involved in the organization of the competition. He said a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed soon by both parties to ensure that the competition kicks off immediately. He challenge youths to be vanguard of peace and avoid being used as willing tools in the hands of merchants of violence

Responding, the President of BYM, Barr Solomon Mwantiri flanked by all his district and branches chairmen expressed the youths’ movement sincerest gratitude to the board for the vision that has eluded all their predecessors. He assured the board of total support and pledges to raise a committee of Berom Youth who are football stakeholders to midwife the process of delivery the laudable initiative.

Barr Solomon Mwantiri,President Berom Youth Moulders (BYM) responding on-behalf of the BYM

Barr Mwantiri said “the PSFA’s approach, using the Gbong Gwom Jos Football Competition, is a commendable example of how sports, especially football, can serve as a powerful tool for peace and unity. It is a pilot project that I am hopeful that the successes will compel a replication of the tournament all over the country”

The Gbong Gwom Jos Football Tournament, initiated under the royal patronage of His Royal Majesty Da Jacob Gyang Buba, the Gbong Gwom Jos, augments the peaceful coexistence among the different ethnic groups in Plateau State. The tournament shall be contested by teams from the 17 local government areas of the state which offers a unique opportunity for the citizens to bond over love for football, thereby consolidating peace

The PFA Chairman was accompanied on the visit by the 1st Vice Chairman, Hon Simon Ezra Godit, Hon Ajiji Ibrahim Azi – board member while the congress men on hand included Miri Timnan Nyantau – FA Chairman Langtang North and Secretary, Forum of Local Governments FA Chairmen Forum, Moses Badung – FA Chairman, Riyom, Ajiji Sule – FA Chairman, Jos East, Nasiru Sani – FA Chairman Jos North and Engr PD Gyang – FA Chairman Jos South

©PFA Media 2024

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