By Ndu Chris Nwannah, ATM Guest Writer and Joseph Nwiyi, ATM Reporter
The 12th Biennial Nigeria Police Games event tagged Anambra 2020 has come to a colourful close at Ekwueme Square, Awka, capital of Anambra State. The closing ceremony witnessed several fireworks and entertainment by Flavour, Slow Dog, Harry Song, Mr. Real and other stars. There were also parades by the participating zonal police commands.
The event was declared closed on 7 March 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor. In the closing address read on his behalf, President Buhari said he was happy that the police had in the past produced quality personalities in the field of sports. The President noted that as part of the federal government’s national sporting objectives, he would continue to support the relevance of the games in development. He appreciated the police for their contributions to enhancing national security.
President Buhari commended Governor Willie Obiano for his vision in sponsoring the games. According to the President, the athletes were great in beautifully enriching the games with their talents.
Governor Willie Obiano who expressed happiness over the success of the event, noted that the games had remained a good platform for forging national unity. He assured that the facilities put in place for the games would be utilized adequately in grooming talents that abound in the area. The Governor congratulated the athletes for showcasing great talents.
Governor Obiano commended President Buhari for his attention to the progress of the games and also hailed the police authorities for offering the state the opportunity to stage the event. He applauded transporters from the state and other stakeholders for contributing to the success of the project.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar was full of thanks to the Anambra State government for its unique support which helped the police to successfully execute the games. Mr. Abubakar noted that the event was a vibrant measure to discovering new talents. He was happy with the energies deployed by the organizing committee in ensuring its progress, stressing that the 2022 games would be better managed.
Force Headquarters Abuja had the best performance in the games, garnering 274 medals in total, made up of 118 gold, 80 silver and 76 bronze. Zone 2 Police Command – located in the South West geopolitical zone of Nigeria and comprising Lagos and Ogun state commands – came second with 83 gold, 85 silver and 62 bronze medals. Zone 11 Police Command – also located in the South West geopolitical zone and made up of Ondo, Osun and Oyo state commands – emerged third with 53 gold, 48 silver and 55 bronze medals.
Some athletes performed brilliantly in the competition. One of them was Oluchi Obi, a Police Constable from Ebonyi State who won four gold medals for Force Headquarters in different swimming categories. Oluchi was recruited by the police because of her swimming abilities. She expressed happiness over the feat and called for more effort to improve sporting facilities in the country. Yeiya Yellow also garnered three gold medals in swimming for the Force Headquarters, the same three gold medals won by Faith Edorodion, also of Force Headquarters.
The event was ended with a Thug of War challenge between the Navy and the Air Force, which was won by the Air Force.
Definitely Ekwueme Square Awka benefitted immensely from the games with the construction of an ultramodern swimming pool, two basketball courts, two volleyball court and one handball pitch.
Anambra State itself benefitted from hosting the event. Earlier, the state governor, Willie Obiano, disclosed that the state would make at least ₦1.5bn from hosting the 2020 Police Games.
At the closing ceremony, special award presentations were made to President Buhari, Governor Obiano, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, Chief of Defence Staff, former Inspectors General of Police, Mr Mike Okiro and Mr Solomon Arase.