By Onochie Anibeze
Coach Amodu Shuaibu was reportedly at TB Joshuaâ€™s last Sunday to thank him for helping Eagles qualify for the World Cup. Amodu, according to reports, believed TB Joshua helped Nigeria qualify and he visited his Synagogue Church of All Nations to thank him. That is the news in the media now.Â
Innocent Okonkwo of Champion Newspaper quoted him this way in a front page news story last Monday:
â€œYou will agree with me that the Super Eagles qualification to South Africa 2010 was in a cliff hanger. It remained only a miracle for us to qualify. Some people even said that we should forget about it, that it will not work.
But as we were preparing, we were monitoring what the Ghana U- 20 were doing because we knew that they visited the man of God for prayers and that prayer worked for them. All he predicted for the Ghanaian team came to pass and they became world champions.
What he predicted for the Nigerian U-17 team also came to pass because he said that Germany would lead them by 3-0 but that they should not be afraid because they will level score to 3-3. In fact, the team that started badly got to the final.
Praise the Lord. Before the match, they were asking me what did the man of God say and I told them that he said where the problem lay was not in Nairobi but in Maputo . He told us that we would win in Kenya . When we were down by one goal at half time, the man of God called (Idah) Peterside and said that we should not panic, that we will win the match and we won. Thank God we made it to South Africa through the prayer of Prophet TB Joshua.â€
Amoduâ€™s visit to TB Joshuaâ€™s is the current talk in sports circles. I remember him telling me about the forces against Nigeria â€™s qualification and how he engaged Christians and Moslems to pray for Nigeria . Now he is attributing Nigeria â€™s qualification to Joshuaâ€™s prayers.
In my column two weeks ago, I congratulated all those who made it possible for us to qualify – the team, the NFF, the PTF and those I simply saidÂ knew themselves. By Amoduâ€™s revelation, I missed out TB Joshua. I am sorry.
May I congratulate him, too. He probably made sure that the referee in Kenya ignored the position Yakubu Aiyegbeni was from where he scored our second goal. He ensured that the referee did not see when Yobo pushed down a goal-bound Kenyan in what normally should attract a penalty and a card, depending on refereeâ€™s discretion.
It was miracle all through. TB Joshua probably did the job in Mozambique where Tunisians couldnâ€™t fathom where their problem was coming from â€“ how their moves were being frustrated. TB Joshuaâ€™s prayers probably influenced the increased match bonuses that also fired on the Mozambicans. He probably also set the referee against the Tunisians.
I believe in the efficacy of prayers and I congratulate TB Joshua for what Amodu reportedly said he made possible. I congratulate him for praying for the wisdom and ingenuity that made us beat Kenya . After all, we all watched the match and saw how the game changed. This is all I can say on this.
Iâ€™ll rather appreciate your contributions and also hope that TB Joshua makes it possible for us to win the Nations Cup and the World Cup. If you believe in the efficacy of prayers you will agree that this is possible especially where our opponents will all be non believers.
That way, God will work for us alone. And as the draws hold today in Cape Town , another will ensure that we are drawn in an easy group where we will be coasting home with victories in all our matches when the World Cup begins. TB Joshua can make this possible. Letâ€™s expect another miracle from Cape Town today. It is possible. Letâ€™s believe.Â Comments, please.
More money, what next?
The period between Beijing Olympics and the Berlin World Athletics Championships last August was just one year. But itâ€™s amazing how fast things have moved. Preparations of athletes for championships transcend just their physical training. We saw the transformation athletes had passed through from Beijing to Berlin .
The standards were higher than what we experienced at the Olympics. But rather than try to catch up with the world, we saw ourselves retrogressing even from our already backward position. And as I write, I cannot tell you any serious plan the National Sports Commission has for the Commonwealth Games next year and the London Olympics.
The other day, the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Patrick Ekeji, said sports associations should expect a bumper year from January as their allocations will be more. That is good.
But may I warn that if there are no genuine programmes and plans on how to achieve results with such funds the story will be the same. For now, I canâ€™t see any light from the end of the tunnel. Dan Ngerem keeps on wondering why we have bluntly refused to be sensitive to even our own areas of strength. The former athletics boss wonders who we will present at the London Olympics.Â I feel too, that we are already late for Olympics.
Ordinarily, You donâ€™t prepare an Olympic champion in three years except where you stumble on extraordinary athletes. And how many do we have or hope to churn out between now and 2012? Your guess is as good as mine.