Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has pledged a warm welcome to all as the ‘Power State’ set for the 2022 edition of the prestigious Minna International Polo Tournament that remains the biggest sporting cum tourism attraction in the state.
Bello, who is the President of Minna Polo Club, reaffirmed the support of his administration and the good people of Niger State to always rally around the annual sporting cum tourism event that traditionally draws the biggest crowd to the Power State annually.
The international sporting fiesta that lined up defending champions, EL-Amin, Profile Group, Malcomines, Minna Bilaad and other top contenders, is billed to blast off next weekend at the foremost IBB Sports Complex in the capital city.
Minna Polo Captain Jamilu King confirmed the date, disclosing that over twenty teams from all the major polo centres across the country are expected to vie for honours during the week-long fiesta. “Everything is on ground for another exciting and memorable international polo grand slam this year and we are excited to welcome a full house,” King enthused.
The event is an annual social and recreational activity, which has over the years attracted a large turnout of players, spectators and eminent personalities both locally and internationally who have been long-standing friends of Niger State and the noble game.
The tournament is powered majorly by the state government and a consortium of blue chip corporate organizations like Profile Group, amongst others, offers the IBB Cup as the event’s biggest prize and other traditional major laurels. Other major prizes to be carted home by the winners are the Governor’s Cup, Emir of Minna Cup and Talban Minna Trophy
Minna Tournament Committee Chairman Mohammad Babangida confirmed the readiness of the Minna Polo Club to host the glamorous fiesta that is one of the most attended polo tournaments in the country.
“We have also lined up a handful of individual awards and subsidiary cups are on offer for the winning teams, the Runners-up, and players who distinguished themselves during the fiesta.” Babangida who led EL-Amin and Profile teams to sweep stakes at the recently concluded Sallah Tournament in Kaduna, added.
Last year, serial champions El–Amin and Profile teams clinched three of the four major prizes at stake. El-Amin extended their dominance with another back-to- back victory by retaining the IBB Cup and added the Abdulsalami Cup to remain the kings of Minna polo
Also worthy to note is that emerging power house of Nigerian polo, Profile that fielded three teams in the event, won the Emir of Minna Cup and General Hassan Cup respectively.
Other proud winners were the debuting Bilaad team parading Jamilu King, Hassan Aliyu, Jamilu Umar and Nigerian top player, Bello Buba who upstaged Minna Profile, to win their maiden the Governor’s Cup title.
Visiting Bauchi Gubi defeated Katsina Gobarau to clinch the Senator Idris Kuta Cup, just as Minna Tunga and Minna Mazuibe Farm teams finished winner and Runners-up in the race for the Kere Ahmed Cup.
EL-Amin international School quartet of Abdulsalam Aminu, Mohammed Salisu, Jamal Abdulkadir and Sagir defeated their opponent in fiercely contested four chukka finals, to win the Beginners Cup.
Polo Pix Caption: Minna Polo Club Chairman Mohammad Babangida holds the IBB Cup after a presentation by the President of Nigerian Polo Federation (NPF), Francis Ogboro in Minna.