It all began as mere office banter as we connected with the international theme #UNSTOPABLE as we remembered the selfless contribution of Red Cross volunteers all through the early stages of the COVID-19. pandemic. Just a few whispers at first, but then it gathered steam. It was only supposed to be a friendly/novelty match between the FCT branch of the Nigerian Red Cross Branch and the Headquarters staff to mark World Red Cross Day.
No big deal.
But by the morning of Saturday, the 8th of May when I got to the Astroturf in Zone 1, Wuse, Abuja, what I saw beat my imagination.
There was even a live band. The Country Manager of the British Red Cross, Kirsten Voigt as well as a delegate of the Italian Red Cross, Insa Moussa Ba Sane were present. Senior officials of the Nigerian Red Cross were also in attendance. The Secretary General of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Abubakar Kende, took the kick off and the veneer of friendliness dropped and hostilities began.
The football match was fiercely contested and there were a few controversies as to the real winner of the game. The Secretary General of the NRCS doused the tension by presenting trophies to both football teams. And after that, a Unity Cake was cut and there was lots to eat and drink after that.
And that’s how it went down at World Red Cross Day 2021.