From Abel Leonard, Lafia
Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule has charged Nasarawa youths to continue to engaged in sporting activities that would promote the image of the state as he congratulates a catholic priest and an Associate Professor at the Federal University of Lafia , Nasarawa State, Rev Fr (Dr) Gabriel Ngbea as he clocks 50 years.
Sule disclosed this on Monday at a Golf tournament organised in honour of the cleric by members of the Lafia Golf Club, describing him as a gentle and selfless minister of God who has done well for himself both as a priest and as an academician.
Sule, represented by his deputy, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, said: ‘Birthday celebrations reminds us of the purpose of our being and how merciful God has been to us. He has been faithful indeed, and we bless His holy name that you have achieved alot at 50 both as a priest and in academics.
‘In celebrating this milestone, I want to recognise your remarkable life of service to the Christian faithful and public at large. We thank God for keeping you in good health to contribute to the development of the society. We wish you many more years,’ he stated.
The governor used the opportunity to reiterate his administration’s commitment towards the development of sporting activities in the state, saying he will continue to encourage the youths to pursue their career in sports.
He appreciated the Lafia Golf Club for organising the tournament to mark the birthday celebration of their member, saying the gesture will encourage others to join the club.
He urged people who are yet to join the golf club to register and become golfers for their wellbeing.
On his part, the Commissioner for Youth and Sport Development, Lucky Yargwa, said the state is diversifying all sporting activities and creating opportunities for the youths to showcase their talents for the growth and development of the state.
‘Golf has been seen as an elite game but under my leadership as the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, we have been working towards the diversification of sports and we are making all as priority.
‘Our Golf players in the state have gone to Kaduna State to play games especially the ladies golfers. They have been representing the state and winning medals . Recently, some of our golfers were at the David Mark Golf Club in Otukpo where they did very well,’ he said.
The commissioner thanked Governor Abdullahi Sule for creating an enabling environment for sports to thrive in the state, promising to consolidate on them.
He thanked the Lafia Golf club for organising a tournament to identify with a member of the club, Rev Fr Ngbea and prayed God grant him long life and prosperity.
Speaking earlier, Augustine Okyuwa, Captain of Lafia Golf Club said the tournament was organised to celebrate one of their own saying: ‘The Lafia golf club is today honouring our friend and brother, Rev Fr Gabriel Ngbea on his birthday. We are so happy for him.
‘We are also going host an executive tournament on the 7th of May, 2022 and we call on people to join us because when you compare our registration fee with the other clubs it is so clear that ours is cheap,’ he said.
The celebrant, Fr Ngbea, who was full of joy, appreciated God for making it possible for him to celebrate his 50th birthday in good health.
He thanked Governor Sule, golfers clubs who participated in the tournament and all those who celebrated him for their contributions and prayed God to bless them abundantly.
Also speaking, a clergyman, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, who recently declared his interest to contest for Governorship seat in Benue State under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said the celebrant has touched many lives of as a minister of God and a lecturer in the university.
Alia noted that the priest, his colleague, was loved due to his love for the sick, weak and less privileged in the society, hence the need to celebrate him on his special day.
On his political ambition, the cleric said Benue State needs a servant leader who will redeem the people from the challenges currently bedeviling the state.
‘As a catholic priest, I have been serving all my life and I know what it takes to manage human lives and to manage crisis .
‘In leadership there are certain elements you need to acquirer.You need to develop and have a very good social, emotional and crisis acumen to be able to lead people in the right direction and If my emotional acumen were not strong enough, I wouldn’t had become a priest.
‘Partisan politics does not take away my priest. I am still vividly a priest and I believe that it is a continuation of the gospel which i have been preaching for 32 years now,’ he said.
He called on Nigerians to unite and stand as bridge builders in their communities for the unity and progress of the country.
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