The renowned power of football at reaching the largest audience and unifying people from across various physical and mental boundaries has lured the First Lady of Kebbi State, Her Excellency, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu into deciding to use the game to fight cancer.
Dr. Shinkafi-Bagudu, who is the Founder and Chief Executive of Medicaid Cancer Foundation, told thenff.com during a visit to the NFF Secretariat, Abuja on Monday that her Foundation is excited to tap into the amazing power of football to help drive their message to the farthest territories.
“We have come to realize that football has a huge unifying effect and extremely popular among peoples of the world. Medicaid Cancer Foundation started seven years ago and we have been doing much in the area of enlightenment and training, but we want to go into acquiring facilities and equipment needed to treat the patients.
“Our plan is to organize a novelty football tournament in Abuja on Saturday, 21st October 2017, to help spread the message about cancer and facilitate our reach to near and remote places,” Shinkafi-Bagudu stated.
The delectable and erudite First Lady admitted that the absence of accurate data on cancer in Nigeria has not helped the push for funding from far and near, but insisted that the doggedness, determination and focus of herself and her team in this area would change the situation for the better.
Receiving the First Lady and her team, NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi (who incidentally is from Kebbi State) lauded Her Excellency’s noble initiative and pledged the support of the NFF for her cause.
“Football is a powerful tool for so many excellent pursuits. I was at the beach soccer tournament hosted by Kebbi State a few months ago and the number of young people who came to watch the matches was very impressive.
“By organizing this tournament, you would not only be fighting cancer, you would also be social vices. We marvel at the decision by yourself, a medical person, to use football for this cause. Your Excellency’s objective is altruistic and fully deserving of ample support, and the NFF will be willing to do that.”
Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme (Deputy General Secretary), Mr. Bola Oyeyode (Director of Competitions), Mr. Ademola Olajire (Director of Communications), Mr. Sunday Okayi (Chief Sports Officer) and Ms Ruth David (Head of Women Football) joined Dr. Sanusi to receive the First Lady.
With Her Excellency were Dr. Suraiya Mansur (Chief Coordinating Officer, MCF), Aisha Saidu (Board Member), Aisha Augie (SSA New Media to First Lady), Mr. Mahmoud Hadejia (Special Adviser, MCF), Aisha Bakari (Program Officer) and Mr. Michael Madugbe (Media Officer).