Two heavyweight dignitaries from Kenya and The Gambia land in Lagos for PANASA President's Cup and African Youth Scrabble Championship

Posted : 22 August 2023
Two heavyweight dignitaries from Kenya and The Gambia are due in Lagos on Tuesday, for the first edition of the PANASA President's Cup (PPC) and the African Youth Scrabble Championship (AYSC) holding simultenously at the Orchid Hotel Ikota-Lekki, Lagos and the Chrisland School Lekki-Lagos between Aug. 24 and 28.

Kenyan Governor of Turkana County, His Exellency Jeremiah Lomorukai will arrive Lagos on Tuesday along with members of Team Kenya to the two championships and Team Uganda on the wings of Kenya Airways.

Also, the President of Gambia Scrabble Association (GSA), Dr. Abba Hydara, a renowned  Specialist Ophthalmic Surgeon, Glaucoma Specialist and a seasoned sports administrator will be landing in Lagos aboard Air Peace.

Both Airlines are partners of the Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA) and are backing both competitions.

Lomorukai, a former parliamentarian, has strong passion for sports and youth development and the growth of the game of Scrabble in Kenya and the continent of Africa is very dear to his heart.

During his stay in the Center of Excellence, the Governor who has over 25 years of excellent service in different arms of government in Kenya will pay a courtesy visit to Oba Oniru of Iruland, His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal, Abisogun II and one of Africa's leading Educationist Dr Winifred Awosika, the founder of Chrisland Schools.

Turkana County where Lomorukai presides is a county in the former Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It is Kenya's largest county by land area of 71,597.8km2 followed by Marsabit County with an area of 66,923.1km2. 

The state is bordered by the countries of Uganda to the west; South Sudan and Ethiopia, including the disputed Ilemi Triangle, to the north and northeast; and Lake Turkana to the east. 

To the south and east, neighbouring counties in Kenya are West Pokot, Baringo and Samburu Counties, while Marsabit County is on the opposite shore of Lake Turkana. 

Turkana's capital and largest town is Lodwar and the county has a population of 926,976 at the 2019 Kenya national census.

On the other hand, Dr. Abba Hydara, the President of Gambia Scrabble Association (GSA), has been the most senior, highest trained and most experienced member of the Gambia National Eye Health Programme of the Ministry of Health since 2015. 

His cumulative clinical, surgical, research and teaching experience spans three decades, including extensive community and rural posting as well as leadership. 

Before joining the Sheikh Zayed Regional Eye Care Centre in 2015, the Gambia had little or nothing to offer for blinding eye problems like Glaucoma, Complicated Cataracts, Childhood Cataracts and Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy and other Inflammatory Retinal problems: patients with these problems invariably slid into irreversible blindness. 

Today, having presided over the only specialist eye hospital in the Gambia as the only Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist, hope and confidence have been restored to patients and families with advanced eye conditions and surgeries with safer and better outcomes assured.

Dr. Abba Hydara, will be in Lagos for the PANASA special meeting and the Awards and Gala Night, he will also be competing for honours in the President's Cup as the sole flag bearer from The Gambia.

The Specialist Ophthalmic Surgeon who is also a University lecturer told authoritative Scrabble News Channel, First Zealmediacast Blog, that the global economy melt down has affected the game of words in The Gambia and this explains why only one player is coming to Lagos from Banjul.

Instead of heading to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA in July for the WESPA Championship, The Gambia, made the PANASA President's Cup (PPC) its main target for the 2023 Scrabble callendar because of its strategic importance to the development of the game on the continent.

The widely traveled and experienced Dr. Abba Hydara, a Pan Africanist, has been helping in lubricating the growth of Scrabble across Africa and he is a dependable ally of the President of PANASA Adekoyejo Adegbesan. 

He is expected to provide a supportive hand to the medical unit is the Main Organizing Committee for the twin events.

Players from 14 countries: Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Ghana, Cameroon, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, United States of America and host Nigeria will feature at the four-day event in the PANASA President's Cup (PPC) for the elite, while students under 15 and 19 years will participate in the African Youth Scrabble Championship (AYSC).


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