The President of Nigeria Pitch Awards, Shina Phillips, on Tuesday said that Nigerian First Lady, Aisha Buhari, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Baba-Usman would headline the 2022 Awards.
Phillips said others to be honoured are the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, and former Super Eagles striker, Daniel Amokachi, among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria Pitch Awards, since its inception in 2012, recognizes players, sports journalists, administrators and others for meritorious contributions to the football development in Nigeria.
The Pitch Awards, according to its president, had in the past recorded milestone successes due to its credibility and transparency.
“We are pleased to announce that voting for the 8th edition of Nigeria Pitch Awards will commence in October.
”The 8th awards ceremony is tentatively fixed for Saturday, March 26, 2022, venue to be announced later.
“Major highlights of the 8th awards includes the presentation of Special Achievement in sports awards to Her Excellency, Aisha Buhari for hosting of the Aisha Buhari Cup.
“The First Lady has become Africa’s champion for the advancement of the right of the girl child to social, economic and political development on the continent,” he said.
Phillips said that The IGP of Police Baba-Usman would also be honoured with the `Sportsmanship Award for his introduction of `Operation Restore Peace in the South East and South South.
“This peace move effectively doused the tension between the police and the citizens and ushered in a new wave of police-citizens partnerships in the fight against criminality in the region.
“IGP Alkali is also passionate supporter of sports as he demonstrated during the biennial Police Games in Awka in 2020.
“Others to be honoured are Daniel Amokachi, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sports who played a pivotal and historic role in Nigeria’s first World Cup appearance.
“NFF President, Pinnick will be rewarded for his contributions to the advancement of Nigeria football and for his representation of the country at the highest level of world football,” he said.
Phillips noted that the awards had been long identified as a motivating factor in the drive to improve performance.
“Since the Nigeria Pitch Awards came on board, we have observed a renewed interest in identifying with a credible reward system by members of the football community notably the Super Eagles players, officials and others.
“Making right decisions about who to reward and honour has always been the bane of most awards. As organisers, we decided to leave this all-important decision to the professionals, the sports journalists.
“In all, over 170 sports journalists across the country have been involved in the voting process at different times; this arguably is the largest pool of sports professionals in any award process in the country.
“This is why the awards decisions have been spot on and award decisions and winners have also been very well received by the media and the public,” he said.
The NFF Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire, commended the organisers of the Nigeria Pitch Awards for their integrity and steadfastness in upholding the awards.
“This is an awards that has stood its ground in the light of many circumstances it has faced in the past and I can say that it has come to stay.
“We are glad to be part of this award that rewards professionals for their contributions to the growth of football and its development in Nigeria,” he said. (NAN)