By IBRAHIM BELLO
ARGUNGU (KEBBI STATE)- The Emir of Anka and the Chairman of Zamfara State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Attahiru Muhammad-Ahmad, has flagged off the 2022 Annual Argungu Polo Tournament and Cultural Fete in Kebbi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) earlier reports that the festival is slated to hold on Sept. 8 to 10 at the sprawling NSK Polo Ranch and Resort in Argungu Local Government Area of the state.
While inaugurating the tournament on Thursday, Muhammad-Ahmad, commended the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Sama’ila Mera, for inviting him to grace such an important event.
“It is important for us as Nigerians to protect our cultural heritage and devise means of increasing our internally generated revenue, which I believe, activities as such tournaments may attract tourists and investors in our country,” he said.
Also, Hajiya Aminatu Abdul-Karim, Ambassador of Niger Republic Women to Nigeria, said that she was in the event to show support and look for opportunities of mutual benefits between the two countries.
“I did not participate in the previous years’ events but we were encouraged and motivated by what we studied and learnt in them, hence our decision to participate in this year’s event and we are really impressed with what we have seen so far,” she said.
Mr Joesef Karim, the Secretary, 2022 Argungu Polo Tournament Organizing Committee, said that the event was one of the most veritable examples of successful country’s tourist product management by the private sector, in partnership with host communities.
“Argungu polo tournament and cultural fete serves the domestic and inbound Nigeria markets; offering the majesty of the polo game, traditional sports and cultural activities in a historic African destination,” he said.
Karim explained that the objective was to sustainably improve the economic multiplier-effects of the event to the state residents and tourist host communities.
“Argungu is nationally renowned as an agricultural produce export town with comparative advantage in rice farming, fishing and allied industries,” the secretary said.
The Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mera, the Grand Patron of the Tournament, assisted the emir of Anka in inaugurating the tournament along with Emir of Talata Mafara, Alhaji Bello Muhammad-Barmo.
The tournament and fete is powered by Argungu Emirate council, the Kebbi state governemnt and Fan Milk, among other corporate organizations who have historically supported the tournament and fete.
Four polo teams, out of the six, slugged it out in the inaugural game, where Bilya B Polo Team defeated NFYCB Stable team to 7 ½ – 1 respectively; while JRB Solar team defeated NIHOTOUR to 8 ½ – 1 respectively. (NAN).