Ibadan Agog, As IGP Egbetokun Declares BIPOGA Open

By Adewole Kehinde

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” Michael Jordan

The 14th biennial Nigeria Police Force Game (BIPOGA) will be declared open on Saturday, February 24, 2024, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, by the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun.

The game hosted by the Oyo State Government in Ibadan is tagged “OLUYOLE 2024.”

The Nigeria Police commenced intensive planning towards the 14th Biennial Games sequel to the approval of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, which led the Force Sports Officer, CP Patrick Atayero, and heads of various committees to converge in Ibadan on Friday, January 12th, to Sunday, January 14th, 2024, for meetings and assessments of facilities in conjunction with the Oyo State Government’s team aimed at perfecting the arrangements for a successful sports festival in Oyo State.

Recall that the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Kayode Egbetokun, at Force Headquarters, International Centre for Peacekeeping, in Abuja, unveiled the mascot and logo of the game (BIPOGA) in the presence of the host governor, Seyi Makinde.

For many years, the Nigeria Police Force has been a force to be reckoned with when highlighting the history and success of sports in Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large. The police have done well in representing the country in local and international sporting activities ranging from football, boxing, basketball, swimming, volleyball, and athletics, among others.

Records of great fitness in sporting activities are glaring and speak for themselves, and the force representatives in several games are numerous; among them are retired DCP Chioma Ajunwa, who was the first Nigerian to win a gold medal in an Olympic, and she achieved this in 1996 by winning a gold medal in the long jump. Julius Efosa Aghahowa, who started his playing career with police machines and later plied his trade in Europe, was the highest goal scorer at the 2002 African Cup of Nations, and he’s also one of the Nigerian players who represented the country at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

The Nigeria Police Force also produced athletes in individual sports such as boxing, and the name of Peter, nicknamed “The Nigerian Nightmare,” rings a bell as one of the best heavyweight boxing champions of the world after winning the WBC Heavyweight title in 2008 after mesmerising and knocking out one of the best boxers of the world, Oleg Maskaev, and he as his footing as a police officer. In the same vein, NPF female boxer Yetunde Aina, aka Iron Lady Abbey, won the World Boxing Foundation (WBF) international super bantamweight title as a police officer. This is overwhelming evidence that the Nigeria Police Force is a fertile land to breed, groom, and nurture great athletes.

IGP, Kayode Egbetokun, said in his words during the unveiling of the mascot and logo that the game will serve as an architect of unity and the discovery of talents, and it will symbolise unity and excellence.

“The game reflects our commitment to a safer, more prosperous Nigeria. They are a reminder of our shared responsibility towards creating a harmonious society where every individual feels protected and valued.”

“Our theme,” Competing for Peace, Unity, Stability, and Progress in Nigeria,” captures our aspirations. It calls upon us to remember that through dedication and teamwork, the vision of a unified and progressive Nigeria is within our grasp.”

“We are not just participants in sporting events but architects of unity and the discovery of talents. This event is a testament to the power of sports to bridge divides and unearth the latent talents among us.”

Chairman of the Force Sports Planning Committee, AIG, Adepoju Ilori, in his address during the unveiling, thanked the IGP for allowing him to serve in this capacity and, as well, said that the venue, facilities, and all necessary arrangements are in top gear for the success of the games and assured all participants that they will have a conducive environment to compete effectively.

Force Sports Officer, CP, Patrick Ataiyero, while reeling out the achievement of the current IGP, described him as a sport-loving and supporting leader because, under him, NPF has achieved a lot in sports by winning laurels and representing Nigeria in different sporting activities such as boxing, cricket, badminton, polo, cycling, and squash.

Aside from competition within the Force, the Nigeria Police athletes have won two gold medals at the recent Chief of Naval Staff swimming competition in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. They also emerged as the best in the Half Marathon Championship, in which other sister agencies participated, among other notable achievements.

As this year’s BIPOGA gathers athletes from all seventeen zones, including force headquarters, it is expected to beat the records of the last edition, the 13th Biennial Police Games, held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, from November 23rd to 30th, 2023.

 

Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached at 08166240846, email: kennyadewole@gmail.com