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2019 Zaria polo club tourney to gallop off in April

Two players jostle for the ball during a game at a recent tournament in Kaduna.

Foremost Zaria Polo Club has commenced preparations for its 2019 annual polo tournament with the election of new management committee to run its affairs  for the next two years, and  a mandate to restore the past glories of the ancient club.

The new management committee that has the Prince of Zazzau Kingdom, Barrister Sambo Idris as the Chairman, was elected at a well-attended Annual General Meeting held in Zaria recently.

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Barrister Idris, who is also the Legal Adviser of the Nigerian Polo Federation (NPF), would be assisted by Abdulkarim Aminu and Ibrahim Paki as first and second chairman respectively.  Abdulkarim Jibrin who serves as the Assistant Treasurer on the NPF Executive management committee was elected the Tournament Manager while Farouk Dokaji was returned as the Polo Captain.

A release signed by the Chairman of the Election Committee, Bala Mohammed Tijjani and made available to Polo Royals indicates that Bala Mohammed Tijjani was elected as the Secretary, just as Jibrin Mohammed Magaji was nominated and returned unopposed as the Treasurer. Abu-Bakr Sani Rimintsiwa and Shehu Mohammed were elected as Grounds member and Pony Welfare officers respectively.

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The new Social & Entertainment Officer is Nasiru Mohammed Sarki, just as Nasiru Mohammed was elected PRO & Security Officer. Sunusi Umar (Sarkin Mallaman-Zazzau) completes the list of the newly elected executives as the EX-Officio member.

The AGM also appointed Trustee and Patrons for the club who tasked the new management on the need to start an expansive renovation of the club facilities, especially the Ground and the stables.

“This brought the need of effective watering of the polo field in order to get a very good playing ground for the tournament which usually, is the main reason tournaments are dragged to periods almost outside the usual tournament slots of Zaria polo club.” The communiqué added.

The new Board of Trustee have five members namely, Alh.Sani Sha’aban, Alh. Ibrahim Jibrin,  Alh. Bashir Aminu, Alh. Munir Ja’afar, and Alh. Balarabe Abbas.

Former Kaduna State Governor, Muktar Ramalan Yero tops the list of the newly appointed Patrons of the foremost club that was founded in the early 1930s.

Other patrons of the club are Alh. Aminu Yakubu Wambai, Alh. Salisu Makarfi, Alh. Ibrahim Magnet, Alh. Shehu Garba, Hon. Emanuel David Ombigadu and Alh. Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli.

Given the uncertainty that surrounded the hosting the 2018 edition of the Zaria annual fiesta, the AGM also mandated the newly elected Tournament committee to be meeting every fortnight in order to fast track preparation for the 2019 tournament. This early build-up is an attempt to forestall the uncertainty that threatened the prestigious festival last year.

Your authoritative Polo Royals had exclusively reported that the 2018 Zaria annual polo festival was in danger of not holding after the club fail to pick a date after its traditional late March and April calendar.

As at the time of filling this report, there is a renewed enthusiasm and commitment from the management and the entire membership to make the 2019 edition of glamorous event revered as one of the most exciting and the oldest polo tournaments in the country, the most successful in years.

Traditionally holding during the Easter holiday or a fortnight after, Zaria annual polo event has in recent years, provided a convivial ambiance for the polo fraternity to celebrate the return of the noble game of kings to the foremost Zauzau kingdom.

The prestigious fiesta that attracts teams from all the major polo centers across the country enjoys the royal backing of the Emir of Zazzau, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Shehu Idris and the Emir of Katsina who is the Life Chairman Nigerian polo, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Abdulmumuni Kabir Usman.

Polo Royals can authoritative disclosed that for a century now major prizes on offer in Zaria include the high stake Royal Signal Cup which is the biggest cup, the medium-goal Emir of Zazzau Cup, The Governor’s Cup, the low-goal University Cup and a handful of subsidiary prizes and awards.

As the first tournament that gallops off the second leg of the glamorous national polo tour, the Zaria event is guaranteed to be the most exciting and highly competitive and lots of fun.

Billed for its traditional Queen Elizabeth Road Polo Ground venue, the weeklong event is a must attend as most of the big names in Nigerian polo are expected to showcase their skills.

Zaria polo is all about the Royal Signal Cup, the tournament biggest and one of the most wanted polo prize in the country. The allure for the title comes from the fact that the winner of this prestigious prize is crown the king of Zaria polo.

President of Nigerian Polo Federation (NPF) Francis Ogboro is expected to lead chieftains of the polo ruling body and top dignitaries from across the country to the grand festival that promises to be a memorable carnival in the ancient Zazzau Kingdom.


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