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Golfers celebrate Polaris Bank ex-CEO, Ike

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The former Managing Director/CEO of Polaris Bank, Mr Innocent C. Ike has been honoured by the Nigerian golfing community for his contribution towards developing the sport in Nigeria.

Ike was recognised with a two-day invitational kitty – the Innocent C. Ike Classic – held recently at Lakowe Lakes Golf Resort, Lagos.

The 18-hole classic drew over 150 amateurs and professional golfers and was an unprecedented carnival of fun, reunion and energy.

The high point of the event was the presentation of prizes to winners in various categories. Mohammed Suleiman emerged the overall winner in the male category, while Tim Ayomike was the second runner-up. Sadiq Edu won the longest-drive trophy in the male category.

Polaris Bank golfer and staff ambassador, Maryanne Udoka emerged winner of the handicap (19-36) female category returning a net score of 68, while Candy Agu won the (0-18) handicap category. Mrs Sila Ojo triumphed as the longest-drive female category.

The event was laced with goodwill and commendation messages by Nigerians from all walks of life.

Expressing delight at Ike’s contributions, the President of the Nigerian Golf Federation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe commended him for setting a standard for corporate Nigeria to emulate.

Runsewe, who is also the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture said: “I feel proud to be associated with the achievements of Mr Innocent Ike. The golfing community has immensely benefitted from his support in promoting the game, and the values golf represents. Through his support to the golf community, Polaris Bank has been widely decorated as ‘Nigeria’s Most Golf Friendly Bank'”.

The immediate past captain of the Golf Section of Ikoyi Club 1938, Dr Meckson Okoro applauded Ike for supporting many golf clubs, including Ikoyi Club 1938 (golf section), IBB Golf Club, Ikeja Golf and Country Club and a host of others in Nigeria. “It is no wonder why representatives from various clubs have come together on a day like this to say thank you”, an elated Okoro said.

The Chairman of Ikoyi Club 1938, Mr Ademola Mumuney appreciated Ike for his strides in taking the Polaris brand to the nooks and crannies of the nation through a strategic partnership with golf clubs in Nigeria. He stated that Polaris Bank sponsored the Ikoyi Club 1938 Range Fence project to bring safety to the game at the club.

He added that Ike’s partnership with golf stakeholders has endeared him to the game, and he “is now an enviable golfer”.

On her part, the past president of the Ladies Golf Association of Nigeria, Mrs Ekanem Ekwueme noted: “I would like to appreciate Mr Innocent Ike for his immense support to the golf federation. He supported all golf clubs in Nigeria through mutually beneficial partnerships. A prime example of this was the recently held Nigerian golf summit where Polaris endorsed the initiative”.

Captain of the Kaduna Golf Club 1921, Engr. Ibrahim Aminu Bagudu expressed his delight  that Ike has brought “so much joy to golf in Nigerian. We in Kaduna will never forget your support hosting the first royal tournament as part of the Kaduna Golf Club’s centennial celebration”.

One of Nigeria’s most ranked pro-golfers, Sunday Olapade of Ikoyi Golf Club Nigeria thanked Ike for supporting professional golfers in the country. He expressed gratitude to the former MD for the assistance he provided to his career, to showcase his talent all across Africa.

Responding, Ike thanked everyone, especially the committee of friends and organisers who helped to put the kitty together in his honour. He praised the golfers for using golf to positively impact on people.

“Your actions today truly say a lot about golfers and the golf community; the camaraderie and spirit of working together has continued to engender a positive impact on lives”, Ike said.

While in charge at Polaris Bank, Ike was credited with initiating a post-pandemic partnership initiative which supported many golf clubs and associations in Nigeria to execute amateur and professional competitions. This initiative has helped to stimulate greater participation and promote unity and business development amongst golfers across the country.

Other notable golfers at the kitty included Eze (Dr) Patrick Chinedu Acholonu; the immediate past captain of IBB Golf Club, Senator Emma Anosike; Executive Director of Polaris Bank, Mohammed Abdullahi; and the Managing Director of Rack Centre, Ayotunde Coker.

Polaris Bank, Mixta Africa, and Rack Centre were among the corporate sponsors of the event.

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