*Polo is back to its ancestral home
By Oluwole Francis
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has joined some polo enthusiasts to express joy at the birth of the just-ended Argungu polo tourney, saying polo’s return will bring economic prosperity to the state. The NSK Farms hosted the maiden edition of the Argungu Polo tourney 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, which took place between Friday and Sunday.
A cross-section of the polo enthusiasts said the coming of polo to the area was something very great for the people of Argungu and Kebbi as a whole.
Colonel Umar Kangiwa, 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.
Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the House of Representatives speaking through his Special Assistant, Mohammed Yahaya Abubakar, said that the coming of polo into Argungu would bring both human and capital development into the town and state.
“Since the demise of the late Shehu Kangiwa, the then Governor of Sokoto state and a great polo enthusiast, the game came to a full stop; that time till now is about 36 years ago.
“Polo has not been played anywhere around the Sahel region since his demise and now his grandson, Nura, has decided to bring the game back here. Indeed, polo has been brought back to its original home.
“This will indeed bring both human and capital development to the people and the state in general. The youths will be empowered and the economic benefits would be immense as more tournaments are held here,” 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.