Organisers of Ovoko yearly football league have debunked stories that former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, was attacked during the 2020 edition of the competition.
The grand finale of the event organised by Ovoko Football Association (OFA) held on the weekend in Ovoko, Igboeze South Council of Enugu State.
Describing the story that Ekweremadu was chased or whisked away from the grand finale of the competition as “sponsored fake news”, OFA also frowned on the attempt to politicise the tournament,
In a statement, the Chairman of OFA, Nnaemeka Onaragu, and the Public Relations Officer, Onyebuchi Ugwu, insisted that the reports were mischievous, unfounded, and sponsored by “enemies of progress, who tried to scuttle the event at the beginning without success.”
According to the organisers, as required of the senator, he performed the official kick-off amid fanfare before proceeding to the reception venue where the people, both young and old, turned out en masse to honour and appreciate him.
“Peddlers of the fake news are yet to provide any pictorial or video evidence to support their falsehood and we are disappointed. Though the national daily has pulled down the offensive story, we are disappointed at their failure to investigate such a serious allegation before going to press,” they stated.
The organisers expressed displeasure over a statement credited to Pat Asadu (representing Nsukka/Igboeze South federal constituency), of attempts to politicise the 2020 edition of the tourney by seeking and accepting sponsorship from Ekweremadu and inviting him to kick off the grand finale.
“The fact remains that we first approached Asadu to sponsor the front of the jersey for N500,000, but he bluntly refused, insisting that we had got enough money. We, therefore, reached out to Chief Celestine Okanya, who paid for it, but preferred that the name of his friend, Ekweremadu, be written at the front of the jersey because he planned to invite him as the Chief Guest of Honour to the kick-off of the grand finale.
“Likewise, former Chairman of Igbo-Eze South Council, Festus Ozioko, sponsored the back of the jersey, but preferred the governor’s name to be written on it instead,” they explained.
On the claim that a court-ordered the organisers to stop the event, they stated: “There is no court order directed at OFA to stop the tournament. We are a law-abiding organisation. But assuming, without conceding, that there was such order, why not charge us with contempt of court, rather than send thugs to dismantle our goalposts?
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