By Ikenna Nwokedi
Amawbia Utd Under 13 side on Sunday, 17th December 2023 defeated Solar Spiders of Nibo town by two goals to one at St. Marks Anglican Church Umuawulu pitch to mark the commencement of the 2023-24 edition of the annual OBIZI Unity Cup.
The competition which is bankrolled by the Deputy Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly and member representing Awka South Constituency 2, Rt. Hon. Chukwuma Okoye saw Amawbia beating Nise 4-2 via penalties in last year’s finals to emerge champions while Nibo also finished 3rd having walked over Umuawulu in the 3rd and 4th place playoffs.
This year’s edition of the OBIZI Unity Cup will be played from the 17th of December 2023 and concluded on new year’s day being 1st of January 2024. According to the sponsor, the 8th edition is a tribute in honour of the late Chief Chukwudi Okafor (Amuluonyenego na Umuawulu) with the first and final matches to be played at the football pitch of St. Marks Anglican Church Umuawulu.
A total of 7 communities domiciled in OBIZI Kingdom will be featuring in this year’s competition with Defending Champions Amawbia drawn in Group B alongside Umuawulu and Isiagu while Nise, Ezinator, Nibo and Mbaukwu will slug it in Group A.
In his reaction after the opening match, Hon. Chukwuma Okoye revealed that the Obizi Unity Cup 2023 marks its 8th edition and a special one in memory of Late Chief Chukwudi Okafor. The lawmaker averred that the competition has come to stay and in line with it’s objectives is aimed at harnessing the footballing talents within the OBIZI dynasty.
Hon. Okoye pledged to sponsor the ten best players to Denmark, recognizing the significance of football in entertaining and financially empowering the youths and their community. The lawmaker pointed out that the competition serves a dual purpose — not only nurturing talent for future opportunities but also steering the youth away from criminal activities.
In a friendly match to kick off the 8th edition of OBIZI Unity Cup, Kenechukwu Nzekwe and Chibuike Obasi scored for the Amawbia side while Chibuike Obasi pulled one back for the Nibo side but it was not enough as Amawbia ran away as the winners with a 2-1 victory.
Present during the opening match were the Chairman, Awka South LGA, Hon. ThankGod Anagor, also present was the MD/CEO of Awka Capital Territory Development Agency (ACTDA), Ossy Onuko; the MD/CEO B-Lord Group, Mr. Williams Linus; former Deputy Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Chief Halford Oseke; High Chief Edwin Nwoye among others.