By Joe Apu
President of the Nigeria Rowing, Canoe and Sailing Federation, Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni (Rtd); at the weekend sued for peace and reconciliation while urging the leadership of the Navy Sailing Club to remain focused on the growth of Sailing and other watersports events in Nigeria.
The former Minister of Transport was speaking at the 4th FOC West Boat Race held at the waterfront of the Navy Sailing Club, Ojo, Lagos which he attended to the delight of members of the Club given the fact that he is a patron of the Club.
In his remarks at the event, Admiral Porbeni stated that he had come on a peace mission to show that he still holds the Navy Sailing Club close to his heart.
“The Navy Sailing Club remains the hub of watersports in Nigeria and the foundation of our Federation because this is where it all started. It is the prayer of every father that his son grows to be better than him. I appreciate the leadership of my son, Tunde Giwa-Daramola and the management of the Navy Sailing Club. From today, Iet it be known that nothing will come between us again. The Nigeria Rowing, Canoe and Sailing Federation will work with you for the greater growth of the sport. Be rest assured that we’re together in the race to grow the sport. Be free to liaise with us anytime.”
Club Commodore of the Navy Sailing Club, Citizen Tunde Giwa-Daramola who before now that had harped on the gradual death of the Sailing culture in Nigeria expressed joy at the move of Admiral Porbeni and thanked him for the olive branch he extended.
“I am humbled by the presence of our patron and father, Rear Admiral FBI Porbeni who is here present with us. It is a thing of joy to see him and I am humbled to know that he still have us close to his heart. I have talked about the neglect of Sailing by the national federation for sometime now and the Navy Sailing Club being one of the two sailing clubs in Nigeria still active, we felt that more should be done. We are happy that he wants us to realign and grow the Sailing culture.”
Giwa-Daramola also used the occasion to appreciate the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa for keeping the sponsorship of the the FOC West Boat Race on. Admiral Gbassa was represented at the event by the CSO Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral HD Zakaria.
The high point of the 4th FOC West Boat Race was the commissioning of the new tavern of the Navy Sailing Club built by HRM Oba Taofik Adegboyega Akeju Awojo (the Alahun of Imoore and Apapa). The ceremony of cutting of the tape was done by Admiral Porbeni alongside other top dignitaries.
Prizes, medals and trophies were presented to athletes that excelled at the event with the overall winner’s trophy which was donated by the President of FIBA Africa Zone Three, Col. Sam Ahmedu going to the winner of the laser sailing event Sub Lieutenant MU Adamu.
The Club also awarded full membership to six officers as well as Silverbird’s Sports presenter Blessing Nwosu at the occasion.
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