Wanted: Nigerian football museum – Part 4
I am rounding off this subject today. I am doing this not because I have exhausted all there is to say about the subject from my end. I am terminating the subject because I don’t want to over-state my case. Actually, I never ever over-state and over-stretch my case because I don’t consider it strategic to do so. I never open my flanks, no matter what. Never!
I am doing this round off exercise on Tuesday, 2nd November, 2021 with the consciousness that the Anambra gubernatorial election will hold on Saturday, 06 November, 2021 (tomorrow that is). Where do the Supreme Spiritual Masters of Merit place their bet? Who have they chosen as the next governor of Anambra State? Who have we chosen? Well, well, well, well…. There is no agreement or consensus in the spiritual plain of my circle. Soludo of APGA won the gubernatorial debate which I watched on Arise Television this past Monday. Ozigbo of PDP exhibited his quality of calmness. Uba of APC displayed nothing to be cherished. Will he win? APGA will blunt the master riggers if the election takes place. Will Soludo win? PDP’s Ozigbo will do this and that. Will Ozigbo win? And YPP? The youths are waiting in ambush. But the Supreme Spiritual Masters of Merit are not really interested in any candidate because of what we spiritually know of each and every-one of them. But Prophet Theopihilus Olabayo the spiritual and administrative head of the Evangelical Church of Yaweh is giving victory to Soludo. When we spoke he could clearly discern my dis-interest in the Anambra gubernatorial election. Why really? The rest is silence.
Let me keep the Anambra species in abeyance and quote aspects of my readers’ responses to our subject of Nigerian Football Museum which we are clamouring for animatedly. I am going beyond my promise to quote more than the only one reader I said I would bring to the column today.
“Sir, we don’t know the value of history, talk-less about and of museums. Yesterday, I read where Osimhen said Drogba inspired him and these administrators don’t understand the value of work ethic and curating our stories to inspire the future. Drogba did not come and give Osimhen 1 GBP, but he was on TV. There are some things money can’t buy. They don’t see the long term effect because we are no longer a nation of values; all is money, money and money. And do you know I am big manism and fake recognition. The biggest test of a man is what he does with power.
“Coincidentally, this piece is coming through when the British are returning our stolen artifacts while the Germans are still deliberating on whether to return them or not.
“Lastly, the former Sports Minister was interviewed recently. Though I’ve stopped listening to sports analyses of Nigeria for some years back because nothing has significantly changed since my childhood, yet the man made some sapient points about accountability and the money that flows in that ministry. The ministry is not called Ministry of Sports and Youth Development for nothing but it is sad when one sees the potential of that ministry and how it’s useless. Everyone can win big if our sports administration is fixed right.
“Giving the benefit of the doubt, we can’t know everything and we’ll all receive counsel. I hope the administrators see your article, Sir, and do something just in case they have forgotten. There’s power in history for that’s where we learn from the past to build the future.”
“Sir, in all my small years of following sports commentary and analyses in Nigeria from Radio Nigeria to NTA…. to Sport Radio, etc., I don’t think I‘ve ever heard this Watson name. This is interesting. Interesting because sports presenters often talk about football a lot in Nigeria and the politics of it. They usually talk about the best player in the world whether it’s Pele or Messi or Ronaldo. Maybe they have talked about it and I never heard it but this is how interesting history is.
“This is just in sports but as more contents are released on social media and black people are getting aware, another model is coming through to make sure the black man doesn’t know history. It’s a function of design – even with technology to ‘fact-check’ some of our artifacts so that we continue to remain in the background while limiting our capabilities. This Watson story is very interesting Sir.”
“The great football analyst, I pray Mr. Amaju [Pinnick] heed your advice. Nice write-up…. You are a man of many parts, master of all. You excel virtually in everything. I say again: Nice write-up and sweet comments from readers. The responses from your readers show that your impact has been felt.”
“Good morning, Sir. I have this feeling that, if given the opportunity, you will go on to write more on this football museum issue. Having read your take on Laurie Cunningham, I feel saddened that the country doesn’t have plans of honoring her sporting legends (deceased or alive). Thank God for You Tube and Western media. The next generation of Nigerian youths may not know stars like Christian Chukwu, Patrick Olusegun Odegbami, Tesilimi “Thunder” Balogun, Best Ogedegbe, Prince Afejuku and others like Rashidi Yekini, Taribo West, Stephen Keshi, etc. Thank you for the memories, Sir.”
My profound thanks to all the readers right from the beginning of the submission of my attention to the subject. All of them verbally (via phone calls) and in written messages made me feel the natural force of love and pleasure which illuminates my sun as a critic and columnist and as a writer. But I must end with this crucial question: Where should the Nigerian Football Museum be put or sited? Does it matter where it is placed? One of my ardent readers across the Atlantic thinks it does. His suggestion is that it should be around Onikan Stadium or somewhere at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos (although he prefers the latter). Either stadium evokes memories that cannot escape the eyes, nostrils, ears, tongue and skin of our proposed Nigerian Football Museum. Immense thanks and greetings, Professor Igho Nafufe magnificent erstwhile left winger and football administrator and profound political scientist whose values for academics are as equally hugely huge. Your appetite for broad views is as large as your fine and refined and refluent mind, big brother.
Whether Mr. Amaju Pinnick and his NFF see merit or not on the need to follow our recommendations and suggestions, it matters not. This columnist and all the readers cannot be wrong and are not wrong. But I believe that Mr. Amaju Pinnick will do what he must do rightly along the given measures. If he declines, a Pharaoh who knows Joseph will come to retrieve my submission from the archives at the appointed time. Then talk more I will and certainly will without qualms. But Amaju is smart enough to do what is right and ripe for our football memories. Abi nor be so, Waffi boy, Warri pikin, a product of Hussey College and of the greatest of the greatest University of Benin?
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.