“NED NWOKO IS A PROMISE KEEPER.”
.. Comrade Michael Ikeogwu,
NUJ Delta Chairman.
By Frank Iroroh
The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), Delta State Chapter, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu has described Hon. Prince Ned Munir Nwoko, NMN, as an honest gentleman who always fulfilled any promised he made with people.
Comrade Ikeogwu made the declaration in a speech he delivered at the closing ceremony of the 1st NUJ/NED NWOKO Veteran Tennis Championship, held at Mount Ned Nwoko Tourist Resorts and Recreational Centre, Idumuje Ugboko, Delta State, Saturday.
Addressing the guests and spectators at the occasion, Comrade Ikeogwu said, “when the present Executive of this body came into office early this year, (June 2017), Prince Ned Nwoko, was one of the individuals we met to discuss the idea of staging this Championship in honour of one of Nigeria’s greatest Tennis players, Nduka Odizor.’ ‘Right there, he promised to partner with us in the sponsorship of the Championship.”
Continuing he said, “today, here we are, as you can see, the Championship has just ended, he has keep to his promise, he is a promise keeper and we will be eternally grateful to him for making our dream come through.’ ‘The Championship has been birthed.”
Comrade Ikeogwu further added, “the idea of staging this championship is to revive the Game of Tennis in the Delta state.’ ‘It is also to serve as a medium to acknowledge and immortalise our own legendary Nduka Odizor, one of Nigeria best ever Tennis player.”
“We are in direct contact with Duke Nduka Odizor and he has expressed his eagerness to come home next year to help us to stage the Championship and make it an annual national event. We hope to grow it to become an international ITF certified Championship.”
Further Comrade Ikeogwu said, “although this year’s event is not well attended as expected but we are very happy that Prince Ned Nwoko gave us the opportunity to birthed the Championship, so the seed has been planted and I have full confidence that it will soon blossom to a giant tree.”
In conclusion, Comrade Ikeogwu said, “so far we have received calls from clubs in the Southeast and South South States that they will be participating in the next edition of the Championship, so next year’s edition will be far bigger than what we witnessed this year.” He asserted.
The Championship finals featured the men’s singles match between Ola Daniel of Asaba Tennis Club, Asaba and Sunday Igben of Warri Tennis Club, Warri, after a gruesome hard fighting 3 sets tournament, Ola Daniel of Asaba Club won the match by 2 – 1set.
The third position men’s singles was won by Austin Igwedi of Warri Club who defeated Iye Samuel of Asaba Club by 2 – 1, out of the 3 sets of play.
The duo of Ola Daniel and Iye Samuel of Asaba Club also won the men’s doubles by defeating the pair of Sunday Igben aid Austin Igwedi of Warri in 3 sets of 2 – 1set.
The highlight of the occasion was the Presentation of Trophies and Medals to the winners.
The Star prize, the Duke Nduka Odizor Trophy went to the Championship winner, Ola Daniel.
The presentation was performed by the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Chris Ogwu, the Iyase of Idumuje Ugboko.
The second Trophy, the Prince Ned Nwoko Trophy was presented to the Championship’s 1st runners up, Mr Sunday Igben. The presentation was performed by Mr. Christian Okpambor, the SSA to the Governor on Youth Mobilisation for Positive Change.
While the third place Trophy, called NUJ Delta Trophy went to the 2nd runners up, Mr Austin Igwedi and the presentation was performed by the Manager, Mount Ned Nwoko Tourist Resorts, Madam Lauretta Ulumma.
Also a Silver Trophy was presented to Hon. Prince Ned Munir Nwoko by the NUJ DELTA as a mark of honour to him for keeping his promise to the Union. The presentation was performed by Comrade Michael Ikeogwu and was received by Madam Lauretta Ulumma on behalf of Hon. Prince Ned Nwoko.
Medal presentation to all the players and officials of the Championship was performed by Mr Iroroh Frank of SAT 2019, Media Directorate.
Among the dignitaries who witnessed the drilling, thrilling and exciting tournament were Chief Chris Ogwu, the Iyase of Idumuje Ugboko, Mr Christian Okpambor, SSA to the Governor, Mr Iroroh Frank, Madam Lauretta Ulumma, Jerry Onwuma of SAT 2019, Social media team, the Executives and members of NUJ Delta and a host of other newsmen across the State.
In his closing remarks, Chief Chris Ogwu, stated that he was very happy to witness the event, he said, “I am very happy to witness today’s event and from what the Chairman has said, we are going to witnessed even bigger Championship next year, here in Idumuje Ugboko, this is what we want to bring the name of our community and State to international limelight and bring greater development to our community through Tourism. It will also help develop Sports in Delta State.”
Chief Ogwu further advised the Union, “I want you to start the preparations for the next edition right now.’ You must package it well and as media men, you have to use your medium, TV, Radios and Newspapers to market it very well, if you do that, you will get more sponsors.”
He ended his speech by commending Hon. Prince Ned Nwoko for all his untiring efforts towards the development of Idumuje Ugboko in particular and the entire Delta State in general.