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Click here to download Hon. Victor Ochei's Resignation Letter

When the Nigeria Wheelchair Basketball Federation (NWBF) was formed years ago as an affiliate to the Paralympic Committee of Nigeria (PCN), little did the board members of the federation know that the sport will one day become a delight to many Nigerians especially the physically challenged.

 

And so when the President of the federation, Hon. Bukola Olopade with other board members decided to convince and encourage the Hon. Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Ochei, who is the Grand Patron of the federation, to sponsor a championship in his name for the federation, the Hon. Speaker did not think it long before acceding to their request.

 

After the maiden edition of the championship held in 2012 and the second edition held last year, the just concluded third edition held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos between February 18 and 22, was an improvement on the previous two editions and the sponsor reiterated that the championship has come to stay.

 

Team Oyo which parades four foreign-based players humiliated Team Edo in the final of the male category by 51-12 points to win the giant trophy which Team Lagos won last year.  And for their efforts, Team Oyo went home with a cash prize of N1.5million while Team Edo which placed second received N1million.

 Team Delta defeated Team Lagos 21-14 points in the third place match to win N500, 000 while in the female category, Team Delta also stopped Team Lagos in the final to win N150,000 while Team Lagos went home with N100, 000 and the third place position went to Team Edo which picked N50, 000 for their efforts.

 “I have put solid sponsorship programme in place that will make the championship to continue to run even after my tenure expires as the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly,” said Hon. Ochei.

 He went further: “What we witnessed this year is an iceberg of good tidings to come. Next year’s edition is going to be bigger, stronger and better.

 

“With Heritage Bank here as our major partner and with the supports of well wishers of the physically challenged, there is no going back on the sponsorship of the championship,” said Hon. Ochei.

 While calling on other well meaning Nigerians with sports orientation to join hands with him, Hon. Ochei, who marked his birthday on the closing day of the championship, February 22, vowed that he will continue to dedicate his time and love for the athletes.

 

 Players and officials of Team Ghana who took part in the championship were full of praises for the sponsor and promised to be here next year for the fourth edition of the championship.

 

 “The game of Wheelchair Basketball has been going on in our country (Ghana) for about 10 years now, but I must confess that we have learnt a lot from this Hon. Victor Ochei International Wheelchair championship.

 

 “My players shooting ability has improved and they can now tackle their opponents very well unlike in the last two editions. In fact, this year’s trip was rewarding,” said Coach Bismark Kygi, who led the Ghanaian delegation comprising of male and female players to the championship.

 

 Team Ghana which finished fifth last year, but an improvement this year by winning two games in both the male and female categories. In the male event, Team Ghana defeated Team Abuja 6-4 after recording a walk-over against Team Togo but lost their third game to Team Edo.

 

 In the female category, Team Ghana was bundled out of the championship by Team Benin Republic after recording two victories against their early opponents.

 

 Technical Director of the Nigeria Wheelchair Basketball Federation, Oberreniene Adoki, thumbed up the standard of play by the players while commending the sponsor.

 

 “This year’s edition of the championship was more exciting than last year. Well improved with the standard of the game and the players’ performance.

 

 “What we’ve witnessed this year shows that there is an improvement not only from the sponsor but also from the players and we can only get better,” said Adoki.

 President of the federation, Hon. Bukola Olopade showered praised on the sponsor and urged him not to relent in his sponsorship of the championship.

 “He has been wonderful since the commencement of the championship three years ago and like Oliver Twist, we will continue to look up to him for the continuous sponsorship of the championship with an improved package,” said Olopade.

 Highlight of the closing ceremony was the presentation of awards and cash prizes to the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in both the male and female categories.

 

 Interestingly, a couple, Musibau and Foluke Shittu emerged winners. While Musibau won the male category on the platform of Team Oyo and went home with N250, 000 and $1,000; his wife, Foluke who won the female category on the platform of Team Delta went home with N100, 000 and $500.

 

Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, has said that his compassion for the physically challenged in the society inspired his involvement in wheelchair basketball.

Speaking ahead of the 3rd edition of the competition named after him, the Victor Ochei Wheelchair Basketball tournament which dunks off tomorrow in Lagos, the Delta assembly speaker said the need to harness the ability of those with disability was necessary instead of just allowing them to wallow in self pity.

''I've compassion for the less privileged in our society. Beyond seeing them from the ambit of pity, they have hidden talents that people need to see and appreciate. I admire strength in their character. Like they say, there is ability in disability. These are special people who by no reason of theirs are physically challenged. We need to lend a helping hand and bring out the best in them,” observed Ochei in Lagos at the weekend.

He recalled how it was the special sports athletes that salvaged the country’s image at the London 2012 Olympiad after the able-bodied failed to win any medal.

“If you remember the last Olympics in London, if not for the spectacular performance of these Paralympians (Physically challenged), Nigeria would not have gotten any medal. What the able-bodied men and women could not achieve, our heroes and heroines were those who are challenged. They beat their opponents from most advanced countries. It was such an amazing experience for us,” he noted.

Ochei is excited that the wheelchair basketball championship which started in Asaba has grown to attract participants from other African countries like the Republic of Benin, Ghana and Togo.

He pledged that with the involvement of other sponsors in the yearly event, the competition would continue to be an avenue for the physically challenged to realize their potentials.

The speaker cited the case of a young lad who through auto accident lost an arm and was contemplating suicide but had a change of mind after watching other physically challenged athletes play basketball

“The young man who lost his arm could not bear to see himself as a disabled person. He contemplated suicide. But when he came and watched others with even worse situation playing basketball, he had a change of heart. His life started transforming and today he is player,” he revealed.

“I want to assure you that the competition will continue to exist long after I have left office. I'm happy that my friends from corporate organisations have joined me in the sponsorship of the competition. Together, we can make Nigeria a better place,'' stressed the youthful politician.

The third edition of Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei Wheelchair Basketball Championship dunks off tomorrow at the Indoor Hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

SOURCE: This Day Live

 

DAYS OF THE WEEK

 

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

24th Feb

Ika south/Ika North-East

 

 

 

 

25th Feb

 

Aniocha North/Aniocha South

 

 

 

26th Feb

 

 

Ukwuani/Ndokwa West

 

 

27th Feb

 

 

 

Ndokwa East/Oshimili North

 

28th Feb

 

 

 

 

Oshimili South

3rd Mar

Ughelli North/ Ughelli South

 

 

 

 

4th Mar

 

Ethiope East/ Ethiope West

 

 

 

5th Mar

 

 

Okpe/Sapele

 

 

6th Mar

 

 

 

Uvwie/Udu

 

7th Mar

 

 

 

 

(REGIONAL) Delta Central

10th Mar

Warri South/ Warri North

 

 

 

 

11th Mar

 

Warri South-East/Burutu

 

 

 

12th Mar

 

 

Bomadi/Patani

 

 

13th Mar

 

 

 

Isoko North/Isoko South

 

14th Mar

 

 

 

 

(REGIONAL) Delta South (OLEH) Palufe Hotel Hall

17th Mar

(REGIONAL) Delta North Agbor Keziah Hotel Hall

 

 

 

 

Names of Judges

Andre Blaze : Moderator / Presenter

Lucia Dim : Judge

 

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