Nigerian is world Scrabble champion


The scrabble world champion Jighere Wellington with the trophy and certificate Photo: Punch

The scrabble world champion Jighere Wellington with the trophy and certificate
Photo: Punch


President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday evening congratulated a Nigerian, Wellington Jighere, after he emerged as the World Scrabble Champion. It is first time for Africa.

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement said that the President conveyed his congratulatory message to Jighere in a telephone conversation he had with the 36-year-old Nigerian who is still in Perth, Australia where the competition held.

“I called to rejoice with you over your performance. You have done the country proud, and we are very happy. Please, pass my congratulations to other members of Team Nigeria,” Buhari reportedly told Jighere who defeated Lewis Mackay of England, by 448 points to 426 to win. The championship was competed for by 450 players from across the world.

Jighere who was said to have been delighted at the telephone call from the President pledged to bring more glory to the country.

Nigeria also emerged as the Best Team of the championship as the six Nigerian representatives scored highly with five of them placing in the top 50 in the world bracket. With these achievements, it is expected that Nigeria will gain more slots in representations at subsequent world tournaments.

An excited President of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation, Sulaiman Garba Gora, said that the years of dedication and perseverance had paid off.

“For us, this is one of the greatest days in the history of Nigerian sports and we at the Nigerian Scrabble Federation are proud to have produced a world champion after years of hard work and perseverance. It had to happen one day and today is that day,” he said.

Board member and spokesperson of the Federation, Paul Bassey, hailed Jighere, the other players and board of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation for the achievement.

Jighere has been one of the best in the world for years and yesterday he proved to the world that he was not a flux all along.

“The DG of the National Sports Commission (Al Hassan Yakmut), our Patron Senator Godswill Akpabio and indeed all other members of the scrabble family are elated. We are waiting for the triumphant return of the history makers,” he said.

Shortly after Buhari ended the telephone conversation, news got to him that the Under-20 women football team, the Falconets, had qualified for the FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup after beating the Basetsana of South Africa 1-0 in Tembisa, South Africa.

The Falconets had won the first leg played in Abuja by 2-1.

“This is a clear case of the indomitable Nigerian spirit. Such will soon be evident in all aspects of our national life,” Buhari said.

The President had on Saturday made a similar telephone call to Golden Eaglets ahead of the final match of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup which ended in Chile on Sunday.


By Pius Ayinor and Olalekan Adetayo


Source: Punch