Ten lucky winners of the “Predict and Win” raffle draw for the just-concluded World Cup: Russia 2018, organised in Abia, were on Thursday rewarded with different prizes at a forum in Umuahia.
The draw was sponsored by Chief Emeka Stanley, former Chairman of Abia State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, in conjunction with the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia (BCA).
In an opening remark, Stanley said that he was inspired to initiate the television phone-in programme to stimulate greater public interest in soccer and the Mundial in particular.
He expressed satisfaction with the level of enthusiasm generated by the programme among the people, especially the youths.
“Aside from providing entertainment, football had proved to be a veritable uniting factor in Nigeria and across the globe.
“Football has further fused the world into a global village and in Nigeria, it has become a veritable tool that unites peoples of different ethnic, political and religious divides,” he said.
Stanley also said that competitive soccer teaches some political lessons of “give and take.”
“Football teaches us lessons of `give and take’ and that one person should not monopolise political office. People should learn that they cannot continue to win all the time.
“We should learn to concede at certain times, you win today, you lose tomorrow. It is important for one to accept his fate in the spirit of sportsmanship,” he said.
Speaking in a similar vein, the Director-General of BCA, Chief Uche Dike, said that football had also become a major tool of economic empowerment across the world.
Dike said that soccer had helped to raise multi-millionaire footballers in the world, adding that many business-conscious individuals and groups had also made a fortune from the round leather game.
Dignitaries at the raffle draw include former House of Assembly members, Chief Dan Egbogu, Chief Obioma Ekpem and former Chairman of Umuahia North Local Government Area, Chief Frank Ibe, and chairman of the event, commended Stanley and BCA for the initiative.
NAN reports that the winner of the star prize of a refrigerator, Mr Kingsley Ngunu, commended the sponsors, saying that the programme spurred greater public interest in the World Cup.
Ngunu, the state Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and former Deputy Chairman of Arochukwu Local Government Area, said that he was donating the item to one of the motherless babies’ home in the state.