A ray of hope and sigh of relief was raised and sniffed over the weekend as the first ever Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of Nigeria Fund Raising Gala Night cane to reality with an encouraging response from individuals and corporate organisations.
It was an event that also witnessed the investiture of the former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the Grand Patron of the PGA of Nigeria as well as the unveiling of the Nigerian Tour logo.
However the pumps and pageantry that ignited the epoch occasion was all efforts geared towards achieving one goal for the PGA of Nigeria – raising a substantial amount that could help put some structures in place for the elevation of the PGA of Nigeria to a global standard and impliedly to enable the players in benefiting the true status of golf professionalism.
Yes indeed, it was gratifying to note that the former President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by Col. Paul Obi (rtd), former Military Governor of Bayelsa State, whose investiture was the highlight of the occasion made a heartwarming commitment and pledges that will no doubt be one of catalysts towards the realisation of the PGA of Nigeria dreams in no distant time.
Dr Jonathan who commended the PGA of Nigeria’s executive committee for its relentless efforts at seeking ways to institute a strong structure for the association; the acceptability and supports of the players in recent times, therefore pledged to be part of the process of the dreamed progressive and developed association.
According to him, “I am delighted by the attention golf is being given in our society today and the support our players have continued to receive.”
These positive developments, past and present, Dr Goodluck Jonathan justified by specifically appreciating some figures with words of encouragement.
“I congratulate Lagos-based professional, Francis Epe, for winning the inaugural PGA of Nigeria tournament, Pa Aikwuta Mark Memorial Golf Tournament in Otukpo; Benue State; I congratulate the Life Vice President, Major General IBM Haruna and the Board of Trustees of the Association for their continued support of the Association,” he said.
In the light of the above ex-President pledged, ” On my part, I will work with the PGA of Nigeria on the bid towards the development of the sport and I will encourage public spirited Nigerians and individuals to support the Association fund raising towards realising its goal.”
Dr Goodluck Jonathan who is already a golfer therefore appreciated the PGA of Nigeria for his historic investiture: “I am delighted by the honour of making me the Grand Patron of the PGA of Nigeria and the kind gesture of holding a ceremonial tee off in that regard.”
Incedentally, the occasion was also graced by commensurable, quality personalities as the Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, Kusenla 111, Elegushi of Ikateland who as well made his impact felt in cash and kind pledging to support in ensuring other well-meaning Nigerian supported PGA of Nigeria to grow.
The Royal Father believes, “Golf is a game that has lots of health benefits; I love the game and I will make sure PGA of Nigeria gets to its desired height by calling on my friends to embrace it.”
In the same vein, Nigerian telecommunication giant, Globacom, was conspicuously present, just as the applause for its impact shook the rafter of the Federal Palace Hotel Casino Hall; its presence was also not in doubt that the return of “Glow Golf Tournament” is the offing as the players for it to debut again.
Dr Tony Philmoore, PGA of Nigeria Executive Director in all of these expressed his appreciation overwhelmingly, promising the donors and partners of the association will not be disappointed saying, “We will ensure probity accountability and transparency.”
The Director commended everyone who contributed to the success of the event, particularly the media adding, “You’re not taking for granted and PGA of Nigeria will appreciate working with you always.’
“My joy today is that the event was very successful and God will continue to bless everyone that was part of this success; this is the beginning of many more things to happen for the development of the PGA of Nigeria,” he concluded.