BRAND NIGERIA FOOTBALL VICTORIES: Accidental Harvest Or Lucky Breaks?


DuduBy Godwin Dudu-Orumen

Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, cuts the impression of a simple man with great responsibility but intent on leaving a mark on the Nigeria sports the way he has gone about his brief since assuming office. There were times I thought he ventured a bit too far in pursuing certain goals but his agenda is becoming clearer. Results in recent times appear to affirm even if some major premises appear at variance with one another.

Here is a not-so-detailed audit. The elections into the federations have thrown up far less howls than have been in the past. So he gets a pass mark there. However activities of the federations over the next couple of years will determine if indeed his action is justifiable as they have been well processed by the beneficiaries. Great intentions and acts have been jeopardised in this country by short sighted incompetent subordinates and support cast as personnel or human capital needs of many dreams. I wish this differently for the sake of a forward looking dream merchant in sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi.

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It becomes imperative for federation officials board members etcetera to come up with a visionary approach and savvy to the business so sports Nigeria that will be enabled to excel in all platforms in 2014 and beyond. Preparations for the 2016 start now. Scripted activities work plans must reach the sports minister and his decision making crew, so adequate funding is arranged in good time.  Poor funding has many times taken our dreams and ambitions in sports hostage in the past. The emergent picture certainly cannot accommodate this failure gone.

The 2014 national sports festival should be the precursor of all things to happen at all international sports meets that Nigeria will engage in over two to three years. Therefore that event must happen with one hundred and twenty percent success. The talent on show and the organisational savvy put into it shall tell how ready we are as a people for honours in sports as Mallam Abdullahi leads the vision and way. There will be hiccups but that should be taken care of quickly.

This brings me to the measurable successes of our football. The league management committee (LMC) licensed to wake up from slumber; the professional football league appears to be leading somewhere positive. For once club managers are put in their right places with the right demand, terms and condition for participation in an organised and rewarding professional football league seems committed to crafting a truly professional football league the LMC appears to have made a great leap in carrying out its mandate. There appears to be a new dawn in the professional football league. We thank all that have made this seemingly unreachable height possible. I see the hand of Mallam Abdullahi here too, but take a bow Nduka Irabor, Chairman LMC who has ensured that the arrogant, empty and quixotic serial efforts of club managers masquerading as club owners to diminish what the LMC has achieved have been pointedly thwarted .

The harvest in sport clearly more obvious in football in year 2013 is sign posted by Super Eagles lifting the African cup for the first time in nineteen years and going on to qualify for 2014 world cup in Brazil. Under Mr. Stephen Keshi, the Super Eagles are looking good but are still many miles to go in fitting together a team that can give us joy at the Mundial. The main ingredient would appear to be one adequate funding the source of which the can NFF determine today. The next major ingredient is leaving the winning coaching crew led by Stephen Keshi intact. Anything different would not only derail the dream, it will in fact abort it.

By: Dudu Orumen