By Bashir Rabe Mani
The Sokoto Polo Club has commended the Sokoto State Government for donating 10 hectares of land to promote polo in the state.
The acting Chairman of the club, Alhaji Mujitaba Ahmed, made the commendation at a news conference in Sokoto on Wednesday.
Ahmed, a retired Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs (DCG), said that the massive land was given in a vintage position along Sokoto to Gusau road.
He said: “It is a very laudable development. We are very much grateful to Allah.
“We are also very much grateful to the able leadership of the state government led by Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal.
“We really appreciate him for giving us such a massive land, we are grateful.”
Ahmed stated that the club had been struggling to get another since when it lost its former land during the administration of former governor Attahiru Bafarawa.
“Since then, we have been struggling to get a land until when Gov. Tambuwal promised to replace the land for us.
“This happy development was facilitated by the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir-Usman, who is the Life Chairman of the Nigerian Polo Club.
“He wrote a letter to the governor, three or four years ago and he has now redeemed the pledge,” he added.
The Captain of the club, Alhaji Faruk Koko, said that it has a plan to use the land to establish an ultramodern International Polo Club in Sokoto.
“We want to mobilise for funds from within and outside the country to successfully execute the project.
“As you know, Sokoto used to be a great polo hub in the past, particularly during the administration of the late governor of the defunct Sokoto State, Alhaji Shehu Kangiwa.
“As it can regrettably be recalled, he died in Kaduna in 1981, while playing polo.
“Sokoto has a great history of polo playing and we want to revive that lost glory.
“That glory is still lingering. Anytime we go to tournaments across Nigeria, especially in Lagos and Kaduna, it is still fresh in the memories of polo lovers,” according to him.
Koko stated that polo lovers from across the world were anxious to come to the state to participate in tournaments.
The captain said: “So, we are happy that that moment has now come with the donation of the land.”
He added that the club has begun an intensive membership drive to shore up its strength.
Koko said that the club had contracted some consultants in Abuja who were working on the appropriate designs for the planned club.
“We will soon reach out to the government and other critical stakeholders for assistance in this direction.
“But, in the meantime, we will start the development of the club with the little funds we have in our coffers.
“We want support in the sustainable development of the structures and and in the development of the game itself,” he said.
Koko described polo as a “good game,” saying “it is a great game. It is called a game of the Kings.
“It is an expensive game. It is a tourists’ game that boosts unity.
“It also brings in economic prosperity and creates job opportunities. It creates social networks.
“So, we are expecting the stakeholders and the government to encourage and support polo from all angles,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)