In line with the FG’s intent to restrain youth and foster peace in the Niger Delta region, the Nigerian Navy, through the Commander of Naval Anti-Piracy Task Group, Commodore Idi Abbas, has pledged a steadfast support for grassroots sports in host communities.
This he made known during a friendly football match organized by the Navy in Port Harcourt on Monday.
The friendly match which was organized between personnel of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder and Osklean Football Academy Rumuolumeni, ended in a draw.
Commodore Abbas disclosed that the aim of the football match was to improve fitness of troops; address youth restiveness and encourage peace in the host community.
According to The Nation, Commodore Abbas said “The NNS Pathfinder organised the football match to keep our personnel fit, knowing fully that it is only when the personnel are fit that they will effectively deliver on the job.
The other reason is to further foster that cordial relationship of officers and ratings of the base and the host communities”
“This is just the beginning and it is hoped that other games would be looked into with participation of the host community.”
By doing this, the naval base will get to know its host community and the community members will also get to know their own neighbors.”
In his speech, he mentioned plans to expand the games to accommodate other sporting events like; volleyball and basketball, saying that the base had excellent facilities to host future games. He further advised participants to use the game to polish up their skills, to enable them represent the country in future sporting events.
The Supreme Ruler of Rumuolumeni community, Eze Ndubueze Olumeni, applauded the Navy for organizing the friendly match with the host community. He said that the community members had always hoped to have a good rapport with the naval base since it came into the community 25 years ago.
“This is a naval base and not a civilian environment, and so, it has been difficult for our people to feel free to enter here for any activity.
We appreciate this type of event and hope that if we continue like this; our relationship will improve and everyone will be happy for it.” He said.