Benin - A Report

Letters from Nigeria

The original people and founders of the Edo Empire were descendants of the Great Benin Kingdom with their traditional capital is Benin City. They are renowned for their artistic acumen as their culture and its memorabilia can be found in almost all the world libraries. Of significant importance is the legendary Benin Bronze Head, which was used as the official trademark of FESTAC 77.

At the height of the rule of Benin Kingdom (which spread to almost all the terrains of present day West Africa) they were renowned for their bravery and warmongering attitude.

This glorious history of Benin Kingdom was embraced in April as Nigeria's Scrabble Players converged from across the country to Benin and do what they love doing the most: play Scrabble.

The Nigeria Scrabble Players' Championships (NSPC) had been tagged "SCRABBLE TOURISM", as it is always moved from one corner of the country to the other affording players the opportunity to travel and feel the pulse of our great country.

The Championships had moved from Abeokuta in the Southwest to other Zones and cities like Port Harcourt in the South, Kano in the Northwest,Lagos in The Southwest and now the fifth edition in Benin.

The venue in Benin was the highbrow Vichi Gates hotel and Suites located in one of the Government Reserved Areas here.

As a matter of fact it promised to be a tantalizing dish of Scrabble as the potpourri of old and new Scrabble warhorses locked horns in the ancient city. The 2015 WESPAC Champion, Wellington Jighere led the field of Masters players and was joined by 2017 WESPAC Runner-Up Moses Peter; included in the strong field are Nsikan Etim Solomon, Eta Karo, Dennis Ikekeregor and Emmanuel Umujose.

NSPC5 was a 15 round event, with the intent of playing 12 of the 15 games on Day One and finishing all proceedings latest by 12 noon Day Two.

After 15 games, the Top 5 in the Masters were:

1 Ezinore George 13 1188 (pictured)
2 Noble Onoshevwe 10.5 -79
3 Wellington Jighere 10 876
4 Olaribigbe Hakeem 10 518
5 Eta Karo 9 600

The Top 5 in Intermediate were:

1 Munanyo Vincent 12 629
2 Olueh Godwin 11 600
3 Enai Doubra 10 467
4 John Aiyedun 10 425
5 Paul Sodje 10 387

The Top 5 in Open were:

1 Atti Daystar 12 1042
2 Orughele Akpofure 11 785
3 Jeffery Onu 10 1392
4 Ituah Iyasele 10 1023
5 Joseph Okere 10 852

Text with thanks to Fashola Kayode