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Dr. Henry Ofa and Chief James Ibori

Like the ancient oak tree with its enduring life and alluring branches that provide shade for many, Chief James Ibori Symbolizes Unity and strong pillar in the nation’s political firmament and sports community.

Dr. Henry Ofa
I heartily congratulate and commend the sports and Youth Development Academy (SYDA) for organizing a competition that can be adjudged wholly successful using any parameter. It is a thing to conceive a lofty idea, but it is another to have the will to pursue it to logical end. This is why the leadership of the SYDA and those who contributed to the success of this competition deserve accolades.
Ibori’s passion for sports, no doubt, remains unequal in the country considering his significant contribution to sports development in the country in the past two decades. As a Governor of Delta State between 1999 and 2007, Ibori promoted sports to enviable heights in the state with his giant’s stridesin sports infrastructure and development of budding athletes, who became international sports stars on the crest of his philanthropy and sponsorship. It is indeed, worthy of note, that one of his enduring legacies as a Governor was the constructions of mini stadia in the 25 local government areas of the state, realizing that sports not only serve as a unifying platform but also a veritable source of income to the youths.
It is therefore gratifying to note that this competition christened “Chief James Onanefe Ibori’ under – 19 football competition is remarkable being organized in honour of this patriot and pragmatic politician, sports lover, notable philanthropist and renowned peace maker, who has sacrificed so much to ensure greater unity in our dear state and the country in general. Chief Ibori as a Governor of Delta State built many bridges of friendship, peace, oneness and conviviality among Deltans and Nigerians in a manner that was totally unprecedented. Not only did Chief Ibori build stadia across the 25 local government areas of Delta State and paid adequate attention to the development of sporting activities in the state he has also shown the true spirit of sportsmanship in all of his dealings, working hard at all times to enthrone justice, fairness and equity as well as extending the olive branch to all those who have done evil against him despite being beneficiaries.
Undeniably, our national leader, Chief Ibori’s well acknowledged as a true embodiment of love, compassion, humility and most importantly forgiveness for all those who orchestrated an unjustifiable political persecution against him. These are some of the many traits that will continue to endear him to the heart of all good people of Delta State and Nigeria as a whole. This is the spirit I want us to embrace as a people. As we continue our sojourn on earth, we may get offended by the actions or inactions of others, but we should endeavour to forgive at all times and let go of our grievances as our national leader publicly did.
At the end of today’s match, there is surely going to be a winner and a loser but whatever the outcome is, the true spirit of sportsmanship requires us to accept the result in good faith. Furthermore, I wish to seize this opportunity to call on all well-meaning Deltans to compliment the efforts of the state government under the leadership of H.E. Dr. Okowa, the executive Governor of Delta State at revolutionizing sports activities in the state and consolidating on the numerous gold medals Delta State has won at various national sports festivals.
I will continue to identify with this noble cause and provides the needed support to ensure its continued success and sustainability. I wish you all a happy and gratifying viewing.
Thanks and God bless you.
Dr. Ofa Henry (JP)

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