Hwolshe community of Dadinkowa in Jos South Local Council of Plateau State has clinched the trophy of this year’s Football Tournament of Peace after defeating Kufang community by a lone goal.
Eight communities were initially involved in the tournament, but Kufang and Hwolshe topped the table, and Hwolshe eventually carried the day.
The Guardian gathered that the essence of the tournament was to further strengthen the harmonious relationship between Muslims and Christians in Dadinkowa.
In Plateau, Dadinkowa is the only community where Christians and Muslims co-existed peacefully since 1994 when religious and ethnic conflicts divided the state.
But the community did not fight because it did not want anything like religion or ethnicity to severe their age-long co-existence.
The Bege Foundation, which organised the Salama football competition, brought the exercise into being to solidify the cordial relationship between the adherents of the two religions.
One of the directors, Godwin Okoko, said the essence of the competition was to tell other communities that “violence and bloodshed do not pay at all,” but should emulate Dadinkowa.
According to Okoko, the community has never experienced religious or ethnic violence since their co-existence.
“The essence of the football tournament in the community is to promote culture of peace and togetherness. Dadinkowa has never experienced violence. The idea is to bring them together again through a football match, which also hones the talent of the youth.”
The representative of the Director-General, Peace Building Agency, Timothy Gayi, said the tournament was one of the peace building agencies where religion or ethnicity was highlighted.
One of the coordinators of the tournament, Anzaku Auta, said that the tournament was not about winning, urging everyone to forget ethnicity and celebrate every goal scored.