By Jacob Ajom
Warri Wolves Chairman, Godwin Abigor, has one question for Stephen Keshi, the Eagles head coach.
“Why have you not been making Ejike Uzoenyi prominent in your team all these days?”
Abigor commended Keshi and the team for beating Morocoo 4-3 after being 3-0 down last Saturday but insisted that Nigerians are expecting more comments on Uzoenyi from Keshi.
“Ejike has been so marvelous in then ongoing African Championships that many are wondering why Keshi has not been fielding him,” Abigor said while recalling a report he said he read in Vanguard extolling the skills of Uzoenyi when Eagles played a 2013 Nations Cup qualifier in Rwanda.
“Vanguard reported in 2012 from Rwanda that Ejike Uzoenyi was man of the match and that Rwanda’s German coach was asking the Nigerian contingent where they fished out the boy from. It was that match too that your Onochie Anibeze reported would likely be the last for Osaze Odewengie, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Dickson Etuhu for a very long time going by their woeful performance.
Vanguard’s report has played out correctly. Vanguard reported that the foreign-based players failed Nigeria in Rwanda while Godfrey Obaobona, Juwon Oshanuwon and Ejike Uzoenyi were outstanding and actually saved Nigeria from a possible defeat in the match that ended goalless. So what has kept Ejike away till now? It will be nice to know. But I strongly join many Nigerians who feel that Ejike Uzoenyi should be given a chance to be in the World Cup team to Brazil.
His game is good enough for Brazil. He is petite but Messi and some other good players are also small in size. I’m not in any way comparing them but Ejike has shown the skill and determination to go to the World Cup and Keshi should give him a chance. My prayer is for Ejike to sign a good contract in Europe and go there to develop his game more. I think that he will.”
Ejike scored two goals against South Africa and his equaliser two minutes to full time against Morocco was classic. Nigeria went on to win the match in a most dramatic way that Nigerians are still celebrating. They face Ghana, the current WAFU Cup champions in a semifinal match tomorrow.