The presidential candidates of the APC and the PDP, Sen. Bola Tinubu and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, respectively, are expected to participate in the upcoming National Unity Polo Tournament in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the four-day event is being organized by the Keffi Polo Ranch with the support of Heritage Bank.
The polo tournament is expected to bring together other political gladiators, royal fathers and captains of industry in the country.
The founder and organizer of the ranch, Ahmed Wadada, disclosed this in an interview with NAN on Tuesday in Abuja.
Wadada explained that the tournament, scheduled to hold from September 8 to 11, would serve as a veritable platform that would deepen understanding between presidential candidates of all political parties and their peers.
This, Wadada said, should help ensure that the campaign for the 2023 parliamentary elections proceeds without rancor.
He said, “The political atmosphere in the country is charged even before the campaigns of all presidential candidates begin.
“It could heat up in the coming months, so the tournament is necessary to ease tensions in the political space.
Wadada, who is also the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate for the Senate in Nasarawa West, appealed to politicians to avoid provocative and inflammatory statements during the campaign that could lead to violence.
“Those of us who are politicians must avoid provocative statements, we must avoid threatening ourselves,” he said.
“It is sad that we make statements that are provocative, and the younger ones listen to us,” he said.
Wadada, who announced that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will be the special guest of honor at the tournament, asked for the cooperation of all political actors in the country.
He said, “This is to create a non-violent political atmosphere before, during and after the upcoming 2023 general elections.”
In addition, the former lawmaker said that the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, will act as royal father during the tournament.
He said that also the president of the Senate, Sen. Ahmed Lawal, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila and other notable figures in the country are expected to attend the event.
Wadada said, ” The tournament will bring together flag bearers of all political parties and other political gladiators from all over the country.
” I have approached Tinubu and Atiku and they have agreed to participate along with their candidates.
” We have also invited the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso, and the presidential candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), Major (retd.) Hamza Al-Mustapha.
“Others are Mr. Kola Abiola of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) and the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Prince Adewole Adebayo.
” It is gratifying to say that all of them have agreed to fully support the national unity polo tournament.”
The emirs of Kano, Zazzau, Bida, Bauchi, Gombe, Minna, the Ooni of Ife, the Obi of Onitsha, the Olu of Warri and all the royal fathers of Nasarawa State have also agreed to participate, Wadada said.
He expressed optimism that the tournament, which will be hosted by Governor Abdullahi Sule, will strengthen national cohesion and ensure non-violent campaigns in the state.
This, he said, will educate voters and party supporters to refrain from violence and work for peace before, during and after the elections. (NAN)