There were effusive praises for the Aminu Maigari-led Nigeria Football Federation once more, as Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, at the weekend dubbed Maigari the “coolest and most silent achiever in football administration.”
The occasion was the inaugural edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards,
which held at the Pearl Hall of Transcorp Metropolitan Hotel, Calabar
on Saturday evening.
Speaking after being presented his Football-friendly Governor of the
Year award by Maigari, Governor Imoke said, with a matter-of-fact
mien: “I receive this award with every sense of humility. But I
believe those who do the real work and give us all joy are the
Executive Board and Management of Nigeria Football Federation.
“The gentleman beside me here (Maigari, who presented him the award)
is the coolest and most silent achiever in football administration.
Alongside, his board, they have turned around the fortune of Nigeria
football and are heading for the sky.
“I really commend them for their groundbreaking feats. It is a long
time that our country, our people have had so much to celebrate within a short span of time. We have just won the FIFA U-17 World Cup ticket only eight days after lifting the FIFA U-17 World Cup to set a global record. In fact, the successes have piled up so high that we are almost forgetting that it is in this same year that we won the Africa Cup of Nations.”
Maigari, Chairman of NFF Technical and Development Committee,
Barrister Chris Green, General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu,
Nigeria’s FIFA Security Officer ACP Gideon Akinsola and
President-General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu
Oladipo were presented with Football Achievement Awards.
Another member of the NFF Executive Committee, Chief Felix
Anyansi-Agwu was named Club Manager of the Year.
Super Eagles’ midfielder and Chelsea FC ace, John Mikel Obi was
crowned Best Midfielder and King of Pitch (Player of the Year), with
Perpetua Nkwocha, four-time African Woman Player of the Year, named
Queen of Pitch.
Eagles’ number one Vincent Enyeama was crowned Goalkeeper of the Year; Godfrey Oboabona won Defender of the Year and Emmanuel Emenike, top scorer at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, emerged Striker of the Year.
Other winners included Stephen Keshi (Coach of the Year); Jelili
Ogunmuyiwa (Referee of the Year); John Shittu (Players’ Agent of the
Year); Kano Pillars (Club of the Year); Ade Ojeikere (Journalist of
the Year – Print); Bimbo Adeola (Journalist of the Year – Radio);
Toyin Ibitoye (Journalist of the Year – TV) and Lagos State (Best
Grassroots Development Programme).
Member, NFF Technical and Development Committee and CAF General
Coordinator, Etubom Paul Bassey and former Super Eagles’ captain Jay
Jay Okocha, also a member of the NFF Technical and Development
Committee, were given Special Recognition awards.
Present at the awards were Governor Imoke, his wife Barrister (Mrs)
Obioma Liyel Imoke, Cross River State Commissioner for Sports, Hon.
Patrick Ugbe, NFF President Alhaji Aminu Maigari, NFF Executive
Committee members Barrister Green, Alhaji Muazu Suleyman, Hon.
Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, Chief Anyansi-Agwu, Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed Fresh,
Hon. Shehu Adamu and Alhaji Ahmadu Muazu Kawu, NFF General Secretary
Barrister Musa Amadu, NFF Director of Marketing, Adama Idris and NFF
Assistant Director (Media) Ademola Olajire.
There were also Alhaji Mumuni Alao, Managing Director of Complete
Communications Limited and Mr. Kunle Solaja, General Editor of The SUN newspapers.