The second edition of the Abuja fishing festival held on Saturday failed to meet the expectations of many who trooped out en masse to witness the event as the catch from the fishing competition was unimpressive.
About N21 million was budgeted for the event which was originally scheduled to hold in December 2011, in the 2011 budget.
The event which held after six years of its debut in 2006 had in attendance participants from many northern states including Niger, Kebbi, Gombe and Adamawa, as well as top government functionaries, traditional rulers among others.
Despite the huge amount of money invested in the programme, there were visible signs of poor organisation.
The event, slated to commence at 9.20am commenced at 12: 59 pm, following the late arrival of some of the invited guests.
After fishing in the water, located on over 10 hectares of land in Yankara, Yaba development area of Abaji area council for a long time, the professional fishermen were not lucky to get the kind of fish deserving of such events as most of them got fingerlings and other average sized fish.
Drama over planted fish
There was also the case of some people trying to play a fast one on the judges in the fishing competition.
While the fishing was going on, an elderly man appeared from the water side with two large sized cat fish caught in two separate nets, claiming that he had just caught them but the judges certified the fish as having died a long time ago, just as another man claimed that he had seen the man coming with the fish from where he hid it.
Surprisingly, the man walked away immediately, without a fight, an indication that perhaps, he had planted the fish in the water.
No sooner had the confusion over the former event died down than a young man came out with another large fish from the river, but was also disqualified on the ground that the fish was killed and kept in the water, showing marks on the body of the fish to buttress their point. This also went without a protest.
Kudu Mohammed, 32, from Kogi state emerged winner of the competition; with the fish he caught weighing about four kilograms, followed by Alhaji Adamu from Katsina and Yunusa Umar from Nasarawa, coming second and third, respectively.
An elated Mohammed however blamed the inability of the fishermen to get the kind of fish expected to the late commencement of the fishing competition.
According to him, the fish competition ought to have held earlier before the other displays, when the water was calm, noting that the fish had run into the bush when the other displays were going on and the water was disturbed