Aondona Comfort Msurshima, age eight years old, is barely ten months old in the game of handball but she was the synocure of all eyes with her heroic and daring saves, at the recently concluded National U-12, U-15 boys and girls handball championship held in Sokoto.
Not till she appeared on the podium, with braided hair style to receive the U-12 girls first runners up trophy on behalf of her team at the closing ceremony of the weeklong age grade handball fiesta, where twenty five teams participated, that doubts on her gender was put to rest.
A cross section of spectators, who followed her outstanding performances that finally earned her team, Gboko Dream Girls, the U-12 girls category second position at the championship mistook her for a male because of her athletic, tom- boyish look, with dreadlock hair style she adorned, throughout the championship.
Asked how and why she chooses handball, Aondona, currently a primary three pupil of Hope Academy, Jato Aka, Benue state, attributed her journey into the game to fate. According to her, she naively set out to exercise the youthful energy in her, incidentally, her gender threw her into the handball court.
“Like every bubbling and energetic child, my desire was to explore alongside my mates on the playground until fate catch up with me and other girls, when the boys started segregation against us by not allowing us to play football. They will tell us to go and play handball, that they assume to be the girl-child game. Incidentally, there is a handball court close to my school. We maximised the proximity of the handball court and here we are today, some of us taking part in competition of a game, we were pushed into barely ten months ago.
“This is how destiny entrusted us into the waiting hands of Coach Godwin Tondo, who bought for me, my first kits, when she saw my seriousness and the determination of other girls in the game. Within a short while, handball fetched me my first earning of one thousand naira, during the All Primary Schools Game held in Kwande local government, in November last year.
“Now that handball had given me my first earning, first trip outside Benue state and through many states, trophy and medal including the attendant publicity and exposure, I can confidently say, there is no going back to the game of handball. I intend to pursue a career in handball alongside my education. I wish to play at the international level, representing Nigeria. I want to explore handball as a means of alternative livelihood to at least, assist my family.
“I still recalled how my mother, a peasant farmer, who is solely responsible for the upkeep of us, four siblings, where I am the third child, showered me with prayers when I handed to her, my first earning of one thousand naira,” she narrated.
The youthful shot-stopper was downcasted, when she was asked of her father. It took her a while to gather enough strength after fighting back tears, responding thus, “he died five years ago, when herdsmen invaded our village, in Jato Aka.”
In an emotion laden tone, Aondona recalled that, “though a peasant farmer, my father ensure that he meets the needs of his family with earnings from his farm produce. Unfortunately, he died of sickness, compounded with inability to access medicare due to insecurity. His death was painful.
“My father died of sickness five years ago, as he could not access medicare at the health facility due to insecurity caused by herdsmen invasion of our village, where health workers who survived the onslaught deserted the health facility in the village.”
Adamawa: CDD Joins Awareness Campaign Against Gender-based Violence
As part of activities commemorating 2023 16 days activism, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has sensitized Adamawa people on Violence Against Women and Girls VAWG.
The sensitization exercise begins with road walk from Bekaji roundabout to Jimeta modern market, Yola-North Local Government Area on Wednesday.
Mrs Amina Auwal, the team lead who spoke on this year’s theme: Unite, “invest to prevent violence against women and girls” described the commitment of stakeholders as the symbol of unity against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the state.
She urged stakeholders to unite and reduce the rate of GBV in the state.
“This VAWG is like a cancer, it is eating up the community gradually but when it has been cut off completely we will have society free of GBV.
“We appreciated the CDD for sponsoring the programme of being able to sensitize the public to bring to an end the menace of VAWG”, she said.
Mrs Rose Zinas, Desk officer GBV, National Orientation Agency (NOA) urged parents, guardians and stakeholders to take advantage of the theme of the year and to invest on women and girls-child.
She said these would help them to have something doing to reduce over dependent on husband’s and parents as well as end violence against them.
Zinas called on the women to also be proactive in looking for something doing and not to be a liability.
In her remarks, Lubna Dodo, representing Federation of Women Lawyers Association, FIDA appreciated the contribution of CDD in the fight against GBV in the state.
She explained that the mission of the road walk is to create awareness on the theme of this year activism.
“This means invest by educating the girls-child and empower them with the knowledge and skills to succeed in future.
“These will go along way by reducing their vulnerability to violence anywhere they find themselves “, she said.
Dodo further said that the passage of Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) law and Child Protection law as well as ongoing sensitization for implementation have also help in reducing the rate of GBV in the state . News Hunter.
Adamawa Govt Approves 42km NYSC Camp – Borong Road Project
By Muhammad B. Muhammad
The Adamawa State Executive Council Wednesday approved reconstruction of 42km road stretching from National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp in Damare to Borong community.
The feeder road project which covers the 2 LGAs of Girei and Demsa will cost over N836m.
The State Commissioner of Education, Dr Umar Garba Pella disclosed this while briefing newsmen shortly after the council meeting that held in the Government House, Yola.
Dr Pella said the project was awarded to Hydro Source and Resource Nigeria Limited and has the completion of period of 12 Months.
The Commissioner further disclosed that the council has approved over N117m variation for the construction of modern laboratory at Specialist Hospital, Yola.
Pella explained that the project was initially awarded at over N578m adding that the variation was to cover the cost of increased price of building materials.
The Wednesday’s 8th 2023 Council Meeting was presided over by the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
Bauchi SEC Approves Construction of 2 Flyovers , 200KM Roads
Bauchi State Government has unveiled a plan for the construction of sixteen strategic roads worth about one hundred billion naira across the state.
The project also comprises two flyovers at the busiest areas of Wunti and Central Market to beautify and decongest the city centre.
These among some other rural roads construction project across the state’s three senatorial zones were part of the resolutions made during State Executive Council Meeting presided over by Governor Bala Mohammed.
Some of the project that make a total of two hundred kilometers include two point six kilometers Sabon Kaura Birshi Gandu road, four point five kilometers Zango-Gwallagan Mayaka access road, one point seven kilometers Bayara township road, rehabilitation of Disina-Adamami road in Jama’are local government area and Dualization of A.D Rufa’i College to Misau town road among others.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, the commissioners of Works and Transport Ibrahim Galadima and his counterpart of Special Duties and Rural Development Faruq Mustapha said the projects have been awarded to confitent contractors in line with developmental initiative of Governor Bala Mohammed led administration.
Also during the meeting, the Council has ratified and approved for upgrading of four palaces of Emirs of Bauchi, Ningi, Jama’are and Dass at sum of two point two Billion naira under the State Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
The commissioner of the ministry Ahmed Sarki Jalam said the move was to creat a conducive environment for the traditional institutions to discharge their duties.
The council has also approved a memo for the 2024 Medium Term Expenditure presented by the commissioner ministry of Budget and Economic Planning Aminu Hammayo as well as a memo presented by the commissioner of Commerce, Trade and Investment Mahmud Baba Ma’aji on the preparation for the forthcoming Northeast Joint Trade Fair in Bauchi State.
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