REPS, YOUR PROBES DON’T SCARE US was the title of Steve Nwosu’s column in the Daily Sun Wednesday. I quote from it: “Of course, I’m not, in the least deceiving myself that anything will be done to those exposed. We have been through this path before with the power probe, BPE, NNPC, Aviation, Maritime, BPP, fuel cabal etc.
These are trying times for all of us with our back pushed to the wall. Please understand the thinking as this is a peculiar one-off situation that will not repeat itself. We’ll continue to appreciate your opinion and constructive criticism.”
It feels good to be back from a long vacation. My resumption fell at the time Eagles were preparing for the 2013 Nations Cup qualifier in Rwanda and I moved to Abuja to monitor their training.
May God never give us an Obasanjo again,” I once prayed on this column. President Obasanjo was then on his last days in office and the review of sports under his tenure was a sad commentary.
We usually start well. We usually proffer workable solutions but like an intractable terminal disease, everything we say to promote growth of our football fades away just as the euphoria of starting afresh dims.
For the sake of Nigeria I may not be tired of repeating myself. I am happy that Stephen Keshi has said so much about the need for us to return to our league.
Two days after we left the Upper Room in Emmanuel Town, Emeka Amadi was named one of the coaches of the national Under 17 squad. He is to handle goal keepers’ training.
Today, the Executive Board of Nigeria Football Federation will take position on the decision of their Technical Committee.
I have received calls to repeat the column I wrote on the eve of the 2-2 draw Eagles played with Guinea on October 8, the clumsy game that nailed our hope of qualifying for the 2012 Nations Cup. Prince Osuagwu, a colleague in the office, says it’s a pity that those in charge rarely read. He is among those who feel strongly about the piece on October 7.
Ota Egefere is my friend and a regular reader of this column. He is also a great follower of sports especially football.He called me on Tuesday to say the following: Please, tell Samson Siasia to field local players in the midfield against Guinea on Saturday. The match will come up at 2pm. The weather will be harsh to our Europe-based players. I fear that after about thirty minutes many of them would have fagged out.
The ovation was still loud when Patrick Ekeji stood from his chair, turned to me and said “this is good for sports.”I waited to hear more from him but he looked sideways and repeated, “This is good for sports, this is good for sports.”
I should be directing this to the President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN but it may also interest Patrick Ekeji, the Director-General of the National Sports Commission.
May I start with Lagos State.They are the hosts of the next National Sports Festival. They saw the opening and closing ceremonies of the Garden City Games in Port Harcourt.
AT the Beijing Olympics, I asked top officials of Jamaica what was the magic? They had just taken the world by storm and everybody in China was singing their name.
On Wednesday, just as I made to start writing this column the news of the press conference addressed by Patrick Ekeji on the impasse reached me. Ekeji is the Director-General of the National Sports Commission. He had made efforts to resolve the matter.
Today, I begin with a story we published on April 4, on our back page. I wrote the story. Please, read and follow the comments below it:
Last week, I asked readers to react on the cheating in age grade competitions as was highlighted by ex international Adokiye Amiesimaka in his comment in Vanguard two weeks ago.
The boys celebrated to high heavens when their officials handed them a gold wrist watch each. They were junior players and in many parts of the world it is wrong to reward junior players with monetary incentives. In fact, in tennis the International Tennis Federation rules against cash prizes in junior events.
I have known Reverend Father Edmund Akpala since 1996. And when I went to St. Gregory’s College two weeks ago I had to visit his office to greet him. Discussion on sports naturally ensued. He spoke with so much passion that I felt that my column last week would be on him and St. Gregory’s.
I met Reverend Edmund Akpala last week in Lagos and my mind flashed back to when I met Justin Rewane in Warri two years ago.
I’m caught up with the fears Paul Bassey expressed in his Monday column here in Vanguard last week.
I was so disturbed that I had to call Samson Siasia for a chat and some exchange of ideas.
He was huge. The jacket he wore complemented his intimidating frame. His voice continuously soared. He was shouting instructions to the Eagles.
Two reports thrilled me this week.
The first was from Simon Kalika. It was on their perception of what Eagles should look like on the field. The second was from his boss Samson Siasia emphasising what Kalika had said.
On coming out of prison, Bode George declared that the next job was to capture Lagos State for the Peoples Democratic Party.
There have been Emmanuel Udughan, Raji Fashola, Gbenga Daniel and now Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq wants to join them.
The three governors mentioned above have distinguished themselves in the development of sports.
Adekunle Salami has, in his column, asked that the huge money they took to Sudan be refunded.
His grudge was that they knew it would be a wasted journey but they still embarked on it.
My senior colleague Paul Bassey has written on this twice. Sani Toro, a one time FA scribe has commented on it and even quoted Article 22 of the CAF Statutes that clearly states how a vacant position in CAF Executive can be filled.
It amazes me how those who should educate the people are misleading them.
The name of my village is Agu-Obu Owa in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State.It is a quiet, very local and peaceful village that boasts of all the attributes of nature but has suffered in the hands of all governments that have existed since the time of state creations.
On August 17, 2009, I sent in the following diary material from Berlin where I was covering the World Athletics Championships:Avinoam Porot is in his 60s. He is an Israeli journalist who would always remind you that he is from a beautiful country.
Achebe: Exit of a literary giant