By Usman Aliyu
The wife of the Edo governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, says the second edition of the Betsy Obaseki women soccer tournament will be used for the campaign against illicit drugs.Mrs Obaseki stated this on Monday in Benin while speaking with newsmen shortly after she inspected facilities at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium ahead of the opening, scheduled for Wednesday.
The Edo first lady, who is the chairperson of the organising committee of the tournament, said it would feature soft type seminars and rendezvous where speakers interact with young girls, players and young students on drug abuses.“We are planning to have soft type seminars and rendezvous with some relevant stakeholders nationally on combating drug abuse in our country, because every year we come up with a theme.“
It is not just about playing football, we also want to send out messages to our young ones.“Last year, it was about promoting girl child education, but this year, we are saying no to drugs.“Last year, we did nothing around, aside playing football, but this year we are going to have soft discussions and we are going to continue every year some activities around the topic with our invitees, our young girls and our players,” she said.Mrs Obaseki disclosed that 13 teams would participate in the 2022 edition as against 12 that participated in the maiden edition, with the winners going home with N5 million.She further revealed that the idea and philosophy behind the tournament was a long standing one, noting that the event will continue as long as football exists.“It is not what we decided to do for a few time. So we decided to do it for any other reasons other than the one that would have long lasting impact on our girls; not just our girls in Edo State, but across the country.“When you have the mind, you have the goal to change the narrative. You know we have suffered a lot of backlash with human trafficking.“We had a lot of our girls going out of the country, but with this current administration, it’s being curbed.“We were number one worldwide in human trafficking, but now we are in number five or six in the 4-5 years of the Obaseki administration.“So that says a lot. We are still working hard and pushing, and trying to provide our girls with the alternatives for earning dollar and for finding work and building a career and gratifying meaningful career at home.“That is one of the objectives that is not going to last for one year, five years, 10 years. It is going to last for 20, 50 years, as long as opportunity exists,” the wife of the governor said.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 10-day event, starting on Wednesday, will end on Sept. 17. (NAN)