ARUA. President Yoweri Museveni has heaped praise on Onduparaka football club (FC) club chairman, Mr Benjamin Nyakuni for fostering unity, patriotism and a sense of national pride through the football club.
Mr Museveni also applauded the management for employing many young people in an otherwise expensive venture.
The President’s message was contained in a letter read by the first deputy prime minister Gen. Moses Ali during the celebrations of the 10 years of club existence at Greenlight stadium on Tuesday.
“I applaud Mr Nyakuni for starting a worthwhile venture and sticking to the vision since inception in 2011 to now when we are seeing the fruits of his sweat, it’s also pleasing to note that it’s a source of employment to the youth in the West Nile region,” Mr Museveni noted in his message.
He commended the club establishment as a demonstration of togetherness in pursuit of a common goal at a time the country is boosting performance in the sports field nationally and internationally
Gen Ali on his part said the government had set a peaceful environment for prosperity for all Ugandans to exercise their freedoms including talent development in sports.
Gen Ali, however, warned that a bad practice of segregation was fast creeping in the region warning the populace to desist from it.
“There is a ‘degree’ for the people of West Nile that is not recognized by the ministry of education and sports, it’s called pull him down, or pull her down” Gen Ali sarcastically said.
“This is a false degree and based on jealousy, hatred, and discrimination and it will not take us anywhere,” he further warned.
He said the region needs a stadium sooner than later in order to better facilitate football development in the region.
Meanwhile, Mr Nyakuni paid tribute to Onduparaka FC fans for their unwavering support hailing them as the best fans in the world but was quick to appeal for more support to the game.
“What began as a dream 10 years ago with barely a brick and grass is the Onduparaka FC that the world has now fallen in love with, I appeal to fellow West Nilers to extend support even to other clubs so that we can keep the youth employed,” Mr Nyakuni remarked.
He explained that the club’s unique mode of formation and rise up the football league ladder had made it the most supported across the country.
Nyakuni appealed for teamwork if the ultimate goal of building a stadium and playing in prestigious leagues including the Confederation of African Football (CAF) champion’s league is to come to fruition.
On the same occasion, the club launched a fundraising drive towards their bus acquisition project, Muni University, NN Toyota, Arua woman Member of Parliament, Mvara secondary and a local youth group were among the first to donate various amounts to the cause.
Gen Moses Ali said the President did not give any cash money towards the fundraising but suggestively asked people to wait for his response.