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Why Fans Shun PH Stadium – Okiri

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The sole administrator of the Rivers State Muslims Pilgrims Board, Alhaji Sani Okiri has pinned the poor turn out of spectators in Port Harcourt during league matches to poor mobilisation on the part of the clubs and fear of hoodlums who used to harass fans at stadium.
Sani made this known in an exclusive chat with Tidesports Port Harcourt recently.
According to the Okirika born administrator,” it is funny that when one goes to the stadium to watch football matches, the person would be suddenly attacked by hoodlums, who will not only embarrass but also cart away valuables such as handsets, money among others.
He explained that the issue of militancy has also reduced the passion attached to the affairs of fans’ home clubsides like Dolphin and Sharks.
Sani, who went back to memory lane, remembered when football lovers use to crowd the stadium to watch division one matches involving Sharks and Calabar Rovers or Leventis United and will even be in the pitch two hours before the arrival of the playing teams.
He continued that back then match venue would always be filled to the highest capacity which attracts militancy personnel who chase people around. And yet more crowd outside should still be struggling to enter the match venues.
The youthful administrator further maintained that, lack of stars in the Globacom Premier League is also a fundamental factor for the low turnout in match venues.
In his words: “There are no stars to watch in the current Premier Leagues. Those playing at the moment do not have the artistry of the game, as it use to be in the bygone times.”
The Bolton Wanderers die hard fan, however, maintained that, things can take a dramatic change, if government can improve on security at the match venue and also encourage the retired professionals, such as Finidi George, Taribo West, Iyeonemi Furo among others to come back home and play one or two seasons, before finally hanging their boots.

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Obuah Lauds Nwabali Over Chieftaincy Title

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The proprietor of Go Round FC , Bro. Felix Obuah cups he was  on cloud nine seeing  his former ward, Super Eagles’ first choice goalkeeper  at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023  in Cote d’Ivoire,  Stanley Bobo Nwabali,  being conferred with a chieftaincy title at his Egbema Kingdom home in  the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area (ONELGA) of Rivers State .
The 27-year-old  Chippa United goalie was led to the ceremony  on Sunday by Bro. Obuah as  he first paid a courtesy call to the ONELGA council headquarters where the Chairman, at the Nzeobi’s palace in Aggah-Egbema,  HRM Eze Everestus Amuda conferred the chieftaincy title ‘Ugo Egbema 1 of Egbema Land’ which means the Pride of Egbema on the Chippa United goalkeeper.
Amuda eulogised Nwabali for his performance especially his penalty saving heroics which he noted, engraved him in the hearts of many Nigerians both home and abroad.
Sir Vincent Job announced a  cash gift  of N5 million in addition to a street  being named after .
At the Nzeobi’s palace in Aggah-Egbema,  HRM Eze Everestus Amuda conferred the chieftaincy title ‘Ugo Egbema 1 of Egbema Land’ which means the Pride of Egbema on the Chippa United goalkeeper.
Amuda eulogised Nwabali for his performance especially his penalty saving heroics “This is the dream of every father, that his son or daughter makes it to the top. When we started, I had the dream that one day if they put in their best, they will reach the zenith of their careers,” Bro Obuah said.which he noted , engraved him in the hearts of many Nigerians both home and abroad.
A grand reception was later  held in Nwabali’s honour at the Community Primary School, Okwuzi where top dignitaries  including  Sir Job, Chief Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly and member Representing ONELGA Constituency I, Hon Franklin Nwabochi as well as member representing ONELGA Constituency II, Hon Dcns Nkemjika Ezekwe showered encomiums on the Super Eagles shot stopper.

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Rivers Hoopers Coach Sure To Make Statement

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Rivers Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu says his team will face a huge task after Thursday’s 2024 Basketball Africa League draw.
Hoopers were drawn against former champions US Monastir, APR of Rwanda, and Senegal’s AS Douanes in the Sahara Conference.
Top two teams will advance to the BAL playoffs scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from May 24 to the first of June.
There will also be a slot for two best third-placed teams from across the three conferences (Kalahari, Nile, and Sahara).
“The group is obviously a very tough one, Odaudu said.”
‘’Former champions US Monastir, APR who defeated the Rwandan team (REG), who were at the BAL last year; they are a very tough team too. Of course, last year’s finalist, AS Douanes, is in that group, so we have been placed in the group of death.
While the other two conferences will hold in March and April, the Nigeria Premier League Champions won’t play until May 4.
Odaudu added, ‘’Notwithstanding, we have enough time to prepare and be there. We will overcome once the jump ball comes.’’
Since the inaugural edition in 2021, Rivers Hoopers and Kwara Falcons are the only Nigerian teams who have played in the BAL, and neither have gone past the group stage.
The former Nigeria international wants his team to be the first Nigerian team to make it to the playoffs of the Basketball Africa League.
“First and foremost, getting out of the group is our target for this year’s BAL. We are tired of just going to participate and coming back home after the first round.
“For us this season, we want to ensure we get to Kigali and be in the playoffs. Whatever happens from there on is a bonus.

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SWAN Gets New Leaders In Rivers

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The Rivers State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has elected a new leadership.
On Monday, February 19, Peter Abaje of DAAR Communication was voted Chairman alongside other executive members: Vice Chairman – Deinma Abaku; Secretary, Ekpor Temple; Financial Secretary, Bath Ndubuwa, and Eyo Kelvin, Welfare Officer, who will pilot the administrative activities of the association for three years.
While other officers were elected unopposed, Mr. Abaje beat the out gone Chairman, Ms Sarah Atonye David by 10 votes to five to emerge.
The election was held under the supervision of Mr. Gabriel Nwanetanya National Ex Officio, who represented the Zonal Vice President, Azuka Chiemeka.
Inaugurating the newly elected officials, Mr. Gabriel Nwanetanya described the electoral process as peaceful and orderly and charged the Executive members to live above board by re-positioning the association in the state as no excuses would be given for non-performance.
He encouraged them to be creative and look inward to discover and showcase the abundant sports talents existing in Rivers State and also appealed to them not to apply personal interest to move the association forward.
In his inaugural speech shortly after the election, Peter Abaje, the newly elected Chairman of SWAN in Rivers State, said that the conclusion of this election signaled a new dawn in the state chapter of the association and vowed to lift the association to greater heights.
The Chairman also promised to carry every member along in the scheme of things as well as operate an open-door policy.
“The new leadership under my watch would collaborate with the private institutions and Rivers State Government to promote and develop community sports as well as encourage the education of members in areas of sports journalism, he assured.
Members of the association who voted and witnessed the election process, applauded the SWANECO for delivering a hitch-free, fair and transparent election.

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