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Team Nigeria promises to defend title as African Scrabble Championship begins

By Alex Monye
21 October 2022   |   3:00 am
Nigeria's national scrabble team arrived in Lusaka on Tuesday, ahead of the 14th African Scrabble Championship, which begins today and ends on October 24 in the Zambian capital.

Players representing Nigeria at the African Scrabble championship in Zambia PHOTO: Alex Monye

Federation pleads for govt support 

Nigeria’s national scrabble team arrived in Lusaka on Tuesday, ahead of the 14th African Scrabble Championship, which begins today and ends on October 24 in the Zambian capital.

Addressing journalists at the National Stadium, Lagos, shortly before the team left the country, Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF) President, Olabatoke Aka, said the team is 100 per cent ready to win the championship.

“The Nigerian scrabble team is ready to defend its African title in Zambia, as we have eight of the world’s top players and also the best African scrabble female player.

“This is the 14th African Championship and Nigeria has won 12 titles out of the last 13, which shows that the country is the team to beat in Zambia,” he said.

He urged the Federal Government to support Team Nigeria, adding that they sourced money for the competition from private individuals.

Also speaking on the competition, national team coach, Tony Ikolo, said, as defending champions, Nigeria would compete against over 11 top African countries in the three-day event.

“Based on the series of qualifiers and screening of players representing Nigeria in Zambia, I believe we have a quality team that will excel in the championship. The players selected for the event have been playing in top-class championships to keep them in top form ahead of the tourney.

“The NSF has also been working hard to ensure the players are mentally and psychologically focused for the tournament,” he said.

Captain of Team Nigeria, Oshevire Avwenagha, assured that they would make Nigerians proud at the African championship.

The 10 players representing Nigeria at the championship are former World Scrabble Champion, Wellington Jighere, current West African champion, Oghenekaro Eta, Enoch Nwali, Victor Godwin, Olatunde Oduwole, Okuwatimilehin Doko, Dennis Ikekeregor, Oshevire Avwenagha, Emmanuel Umujose and Temituoyo Mayuku.

The officials in the delegation to Zambia are NSF President,  Aka, Ikolo (national coach) and Mrs. Ejiro Thukson, who is NSF’s secretary general.