Some polo enthusiasts in Argungu on Sunday expressed joy at the birth of the just-ended Argungu polo tournament, saying polo’s arrival will bring economic prosperity to the state.
NSK Farms hosted the maiden edition of the Argungu Polo Tournament at its newly-built polo field.
The tournament was organised by Nura Sani Kangiwa, who is the Turakin Kebbi and the patron of NSK Farms, holding between Friday and Sunday.
A cross-section of the polo enthisiasts said that the coming of polo to the area was something very great for the people of Argungu and Kebbi as a whole.
Umar Dangiwa, a former governor of Kaduna state and an indigene of Argungu said: “In my life time, I never thought that I will get the opportunity to see a polo tournament being staged in Kebbi state not to talk of Argungu.
“One is delighted to see the effort of one man pulling a lot of crowd from all across the country to this small town of ours.
“Indeed, this is just the beginning of greater things to come here, because as more tournaments such as this are held here the community and indeed the state will benefit immensely.
“A lot of jobs will be created and so many businesses will thrive. I hope others will emulate and support his effort here in Argungu, so that a one-man club will develop into a club of hundreds of members.
“Polo is a very expensive game and maintaining a club of this magnitude must be very expensive.
“So, it is my hope that people around here will join the young man (Kangiwa) and develop the club,” he said.
Mohammed Sanusi, Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) who is an indigene of Birnin-Kebbi, said: “Contrary to the general perception, I don’t want to believe that polo is a new sport in this domain because we are used to horse events.
“From the horse riding to camels, donkeys and of course, to polo itself.
“Although this is the first time this town is hosting a tournament of this magnitude, but you can agree with me that the former Sokoto has been known as the home of polo.
“So, this is something that is known to all of us here,” he said.
Sanusi noted that sports was an avenue for providing employment, adding that it was also an avenue for fighting social vices.
“The children that are here today, if not because of this, could probably have been elsewhere doing things that are unethical.
“This also is an avenue for motivating them to come into sports.
“We cannot undermine the position of sports as far as providing employment is concerned and for fighting social vices,” he said.
Adamu Bagayi, a traditional ruler in Augie Local Government Area, said: “This is indeed a good initiative by a son of the soil, even though it is a new game to us here in Argungu.
“But, as you can see, people are becoming interested in it already. I will like to start participating in the game very soon.
“Also, the game will help us economically, as you can see people have already benefited from the tournament.
“The salesmen, the okada riders who were carrying visitors to and from town for as much as N150 to N200 and all these drinks which cost N100 in the town and are now N150 here, all because of the tournament.
“So, this will surely bring prosperity to the people of Argungu,” he said.
Nasiru Abubakar, Executive Secretary of the Local Government Staff Pension Board of Kebbi, said: “This is the first time in the history of the state that our people are witnessing a polo tournament.
“And the crowd that we have seen here today really underscores the importance of the occasion and the sport as well.
“The people of Argungu are very happy and they have indeed become part and parcel of this club and will continue to ensure that the club grows from strength to strength,” he said.