The sponsor of the annual Imerienwe/Upe Unity Football Competition, Dr TOE Ekechi has reiterated that the tournament is designed to immortalize his Late Dad’s Admonition for peace and harmony for his people.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 7th edition of the Tournament on Saturday at the Central School Umuoye in Imerienwe, Autonomous Community, Ngor Okpala LGA, Dr Ekechi said some l people have the erroneous impression that the tournaments name is named after him correcting that it’s actually after his late Dad, Okenze Tobias Ekechi (Late) for his Administration for peace and unity during his time.
“The tournament is fashioned to immortalize my late Dad who was an embodiment of peace and unity during his days, so we thought of how to continue his legacies hence we decided to institute the competition.
“Incidentally we all have “T” in our names, Theodor, Tobias and so on, so people mistake it as named after me buts its my late father.
“The competition apart from entertaining and discovering of talents has continued to unite the two communities even after Upe got their autonomous.
“Some talents who played in this competition in the past six editions are playing their trade in Europe, NPFL and other leagues in the country.
“As you can see, I have made the tournament a community effort with some prominent sons and daughters of the area supporting with various individual awards.
“We should have been in the eight edition but for the COVID -19 out break,” the former Commissioner for Information also disclosed.
In his assertion, the LOC Chairman of the competition, Mr Ujunwa, who took over from Hon Neville Okere said after the draws, Upe picked the slot to open the tournament against the defending champions, Umunakara who won the last edition last year adding that the final will be held on the 31st of December, 2022.
Umunakara in the opening game humbled Upe with two goals on either half from Ekene (39th minutes) and their captain, Nonso (85th munite) to state their intentions of retaining their trophy.
Some of the dignitaries who witnessed the fascinating encounter includes; HRH Eze AU Ekechi “Ijirnwe II of Imerienwe”, who performed the ceremonial kick -Off and HRH Eze Jeoffery O Okoro “Oko I of Upe”, among many others who were joined by some members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria SWAN, Imo state chapter led by their chairman, Rtn Everest Ezihe.