Penultimate Saturday, July 23rd, the sleepy town of Eleko, home to the
popular Eleko Beach was literally shaken to its roots as they hosted the
steadily improving and expanding Eleko Motor Race (EMR). 
Why is Alibaba kneeling down? Read on to find out.
The event, the 5th in the series attracted a huge crowd of both
participants and spectators who all came in different types of automotive
machines, ranging from full-blown SUVs, All-Wheel Drives, Front Wheel Drives,
Rear Wheel Drives, motorcycles of different shapes, configurations and the list
can not be complete without including the car made right here in Nigeria by a
mechanic/fabricator named Sunday who had the full confidence to also race his
self-made car among other cars.
Alibaba and Aunt Landa.
Celebrities were also in huge abundance to identify with this fledgling
motorsporting event as first class comedian, Alibaba was one of the
competitors, DJ Sosee also competed, Charles Dallas compered the event, Freeze
of Cool Fm had earlier thrown his support to the event, Africa’s youngest Disc
Jockey, DJ Young Money rocked the music supply under the tutelage of his record label boss KNation among
several others.
Alibaba chilling after his race.
The gods also were in favour of the event as the rains that had been
threatening earlier ‘respected itself’ and didn’t fall till about one hour
after the event when the heavens let out its pent up reserves of water.
The event, having being painstakingly planned by the organizers, Mr
Bamidele Fadimuliyu, Mr Edward Osakwe, Mr Tari Etete and lots of other
volunteers over several months before can be said to have hugely improved over
previous editions. 
In Jeremy Clarkson’s voice; “some say Alibaba and I have the same nose”.
For this edition, a longer route was included, with the starting stage
at Iwerekun, running through scenic village rough roads, having different stops
or in rally parlance, stages at different points along the course and
terminating at the Eleko Beach entrance.
The Nigerian made car in the line-up during the Special Stage. Mehn, the ‘lil man gat some balls’. 
There, there was another timed race (Special Stage) for each competing vehicle which
terminated on the beautiful sands of the beach proper.
Several rounds of this was done, all to help in getting the winners and
also keep the spectators well entertained as they kept asking for more.
Another major highlight was the race organized for commercial riders of
the community who rode their regular (Bajaj) motorcycles through the
heavy sands of the beach, competing to know who will finish the rounds first.
This also got the crowds screaming and rooting for their favourite racers
through a huge cloud of clutch and engine fumes.
After all the races, winners emerged and prices were given.
Surprisingly, a brand-new winner with a never-competed before car won
the competition. The reigning champion, Mr Kingsley Uwatse whom had prepared to
defend his title vigorously unfortunately suffered an issue with his axle so
couldn’t race.
Inspiration FM’s OAP Charles Dallars anchoring the event.
Another car that raced, a Toyota Tacoma also suffered a tire blowout on
the 1st stage of the event after a successful flying and impressive start.
Add captionTwo angry-looking, race hungry SUVs.
The Nigerian car, had a good race but got bogged down by sand at several
stages (Transit Stage 1 and Special Stage 4) because it didn’t have an AWD/4WD. 
At a Transit Stage
After the bikers race, the children of the community were also not left
behind as they all got gift packs donated by the organizers and their supporters while Aunt Landa and her foundation also
donated some books for some schools in the community.
Kids getting their gift packs.
Safety was also paramount in the whole organization as all rules of
engagement were monitored by F1A head in Nigeria, Ishaku Bamayi and adhered to
by all while a qualified nurse provided by Humana Hospital was also on stand-by
for any health issue which didn’t crop up.
With Ishaku Bamaiyi
I can not finish this without narrating how i inadvertently
‘participated’ in the race with my Mazda CX7.
Edward Osakwe flagging off the biker’s race.
On my way, i was monitoring conversation on our group platform and many
people were complaining of missing their way. I saw one of the competing SUVs
along the road and confrimed they were on their way their. We got to a point
along the way and turned off. I thought there was a short cut to Eleko Beach
instead of the usual longer route. The next thing i knew, we had hit a long
stretch of very rough road. Some of the cars also heading there turned back but
me, ‘for wia’. Not after having come this far, i continued following the
heavily modified SUV with huge tires and tough suspension and we soon hit a
beach road, full of mountains of loose sand. 
The Xterra taking off at Stage 1. Can you sight the Mazda in the front?
The SUV kept flying and i flew
right behind it with my traction control light flickering intermittently when
my tires fought for grip. Soon, my front-wheel drive beloved CX7 hit a huge
patch of sand and gave up. At this point, i hit my horn and lights to alert the
SUV ahead of my ‘lil’ issue. They stopped and reversed back to assist.
Immediately some other 4WD trucks behind me also parked to assist. 
Oh yes, some of them fell, you fall, you get back up into the race, simple as that.
I kept rocking the car ‘to and fro’ while gently turning the steering
right to left before the car soon got itself out of its temporary trap and we
continued on our merry journey and i soon realized i was with the wrong party
as we soon got the the starting stage of the competition where other SUVs (and
the brave Nigerian-made RWD car) had lined up for take-off. 
DJ Sosee blasting down the sands during the Special Stage
After taking some pictures as the official competitors (as i was the
only unofficial competitor…lol) all flew off to thundrous starts especially
that badass Nissan Xterra piloted by a crew of two females-driven by Mrs Osakwe
(they were actually the SUV i mistakenly followed to the place), i drove off to
Eleko through the race route. Some villagers had lined up the race track
hailing us as we drove through, boy, it felt good as i instantly felt like a
well kitted, race-prepped Paris-Dakar racer (in my head shaa).
The all-female team- driven by Mrs Skola Osakwe
Indeed, it was a great outing and reinforces the birth of proper
motorsports events in Nigeria.
Winners of the community motorcycle competition
For the Car, the winners are:
First Position- Mr Richard Ike (Ford F150 Raptor)
Second Position- Mr Bayo Ayoade (Nissan Frontier)
Third Position- Mrs Eji Effiong (Jeep Wrangler ’14)
Congratulations to all while we look forward to the next edition to be
announced in due course.
Check out more pictures below…
Mrs Eji Effiong, one of the drivers.
Mrs Skola Osakwe describing her car to a reporter from Supersports.
Alibaba being interviewed by Supersports.
DJ Sosee checking out DJ Young Money.
Selfie with Sunday the builder of the Nigerian Car.
Beautiful ladies with the prizes,,,including my copies of my book.
Community elders watching with rapt attention.
Presentation of prizes by Mr Edward Osakwe.
Presentation of prizes by a community leader.
Presentation of prizes by another community leader.
Some of the racers awaiting the results with apprehension.
The champions (L-R) Bayo Ayoade, Richard Ike and Eji Effiong.
The champions and the organizers
Race Organizer, Bamidele Fadimuliyu putting things in place.
Members of the Welfare department.
The champion and I.
The winning car.
The Nigerian made car taking off at Stage 1.
The Nigerian made car blasting off at the Special Stage
Who knew Charles Dallars was such a skilled grill maestro?
Off-road veteran and Dakar Rally participant, Mr Connie Guilfoyle, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Ireland who helped put together the EMR rally road book with his fellow motorsports enthusiast.
Look closely, playing by the seashore. Car your car play here? Bring it on. We gat the champs.
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