The former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Polaris Bank, Mr. Innocent Ike, has been honoured for his contribution towards developing Golf in Nigeria.
The honour came from the Nigerian golfing community in a two-day invitational kitty tagged Innocent C. Ike Classic, held at Lakowe Lakes Golf Resort Lagos, Nigeria.
Day One of the tournament had lady Golfers lock horns, while Day Two featured the Male golfers squaring off for coveted prizes across several categories.
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 as the overall winner in the Male Category, while Tim Ayomike was the 2nd runner-up. Sadiq Edu won the longest-drive trophy in the Men’s category.
Polaris Bank Golfer and Staff Ambassador, Maryanne Udoka emerged winner of the Handicap (19-36) lady’s category returning a Net score of 68, while Candy Agu won the (0-18) handicap category. Mrs Sila Ojo emerged as the longest-drive winner in the Ladies’ category.
The event was laced with goodwill and commendation messages by Nigerians from all walks of life.
Expressing delight on the contributions of Mr. Ike, the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) and President of the Nigerian Golf Federation, (NGF) Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, commended him for setting a standard for corporate Nigeria to emulate.
In his words: “I feel proud to be associated with the achievements of Mr. Innocent Ike. The Golfing community has immensely benefited 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.”
Speaking at the event, the immediate past Captain of the Golf Section of Ikoyi Club 1938, Dr. M. I. Okoro, applauded Mr. Ike for supporting many Golf clubs, including Ikoyi Club 1938 Golf section, IBB Golf Club, Ikeja Golf & Country Club and a host of others in Nigeria. Dr. Okoro noted: “It is no wonder why representatives from various clubs have come together on a day like this to say thank you.”
The Chairman of Ikoyi Club 1938, Mr. Ademola Mumuney, appreciated Mr. Innocent 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 affirmed: “Polaris Bank sponsored the Ikoyi Club 1938 Range fence project to bring safety to the game at the Club. This initiative availed them of a three-year branding right to the project. His partnership with golf stakeholders endeared him to the game, and he is now an enviable golfer.
On her part, the Past President, Ladies Golf Association of Nigeria (LGAN), 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.”
Others who eulogized Mr. Ike at the event included the Captain of the Kaduna Golf Club 1921, Engineer Ibrahim Aminu Bagudu, who noted 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 celebrations.”
One of Nigeria’s most ranked Pro Golfers, Sunday Olapade of Ikoyi Golf Club Nigeria, thanked the former MD/CEO for supporting Professional Golfers in the country. Olapade expressed gratitude to the former MD for the assistance he provided to his career; to showcase his talent all across Africa.
In his response, Mr. Ike expressed thanks to everyone, especially the committee of friends and organizers who helped put the Kitty together in his honour. He praised the golfers for using the game of Golf to impact people’s lives positively.
“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,” he said.
As Managing Director and Chief Executive of Polaris Bank, Mr. Innocent C. 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 were Eze (Dr.) Patrick II Chinedu Acholonu; Senator Emma Anosike the immediate past captain of IBB Golf Club, Mohammed Abdullahi, Executive Director Polaris Bank, and former MD of Rack Centre and now CEO of Open Access Data Centres (OADC), Ayotunde Coker, among others.
Polaris Bank, Mixta Africa, and Rack Centre were among the corporate sponsors for the vibrant event.
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