Musa, Ebi Reign Supreme At 2nd NFF/AIETO Football Award
Super Eagles’ stand-in captain Ahmed Musa and Super Falcons’ opposite number Onome Ebi took the big gongs at the second edition of the AITEO-NFF Football Awards that held in Lagos on Monday night.
The project started only last year, but as happened during the first edition, dignitaries and guests came from all over Africa and other parts of the world, and the class and delivery of the event is fast high setting standards for other Awards, national and continental, to match.
It was also, the special night of recognition to the Super Eagles’ Class of 1994 – the squad widely nicknamed ‘Golden Generation’ after qualifying Nigeria for her first –ever FIFA World Cup finals, winning the Africa Cup of Nations on away soil for the first time and coming within 100 seconds of a quarter final place at the World Cup in the United States of America.
Physically present and bathed in applause were goalkeepers Peter Rufai and Alloy Agu, defenders Austin Eguavoen, Uche Okechukwu, Benedict Iroha, Nduka Ugbade and Taribo West, midfielders Mutiu Adepoju, Austin ‘JJ’ Okocha, Sunday Oliseh and Edema Fuludu and forwards Finidi George, Samson Siasia and Daniel Amokachi. Omoyemi Yekini, daughter of the ‘goalsfather’ Rashidi Yekini, stood in for her late father as well as the four others who had passed on: team captain Stephen Keshi, goalkeeper Wilfred Agbonavbare, defender Uche Okafor and midfielder Thompson Oliha.
Emmanuel Amuneke, Michael Emenalo, Emeka Ezeugo, Efan Ekoku, Isaac Semitoje and Chidi Nwanu could not make it down to Nigeria for the ceremony. While a couple of the players present on Monday night did not make the final cut for the World Cup in America, six members of the group went ahead to join the Dream Team and return to America to conquer – by winning Africa’s men’s football gold at the Centennial Olympics in Atlanta two years later.
While FIFA Secretary –General , Ms Fatma Samoura (the first African/first woman to occupy the position) was honoured with the NFF Order of Merit Award, as Presidents of 18 Member Associations of FIFA, the Abia State Governor (Chief Okezie Ikpeazu), the Acting Governor of Edo State (Comrade Philip Shaibu) and captains of industry, political juggernauts, A-class artistes and heavyweight stakeholders of the game watched at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
President of the Nigeria Football Federation and First Vice President of CAF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, once more eulogized the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) for providing the conducive environment for football to thrive and for total support for the NFF and the various National Teams, while calling on Nigeria’s other billionaires and well –heeled companies to emulate AITEO Group and boost the development of football in Nigeria.
AITEO, Nigeria’s leading energy solutions company, also stands erect as Official Optimum Partner of the NFF and sponsors of the Federation Cup. It also bankrolls the annual African Football Awards organized by CAF. Its team on Monday night was led by Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Francis Peters and included the Executive Director, Mr. Andrew Onyearu.
Business mogul and politician, Chief M. K. O. Abiola was honoured with the NFF Presidential Award, while Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his hefty support for football projects and programs of the National Teams.
NFF First Vice President and Chairman of the Awards organizing committee, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi said the Federation decided it was apt to honour the Super Eagles’ Class of 1994, 25 years to their AFCON –winning exploits and FIFA World Cup performance. It would be recalled that Nigeria was named the second most entertaining team of USA 1994 World Cup.
As A-list comedian Bovi and Malian broadcaster Mariam Diakite compered, the dignitaries including Presidents of the Football Associations of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Ethiopia, Benin Republic, South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda and Liberia applauded the winners with vigour. Among the winners were Super Falcons’ coach Thomas Dennerby, Super Eagles’ ace winger Samuel Chukwueze and Enugu Rangers’ coach Olugbenga Ogunbote.
Responding on behalf of the 1994 Eagles, defender Austin Eguavoen expressed deep appreciation of the squad to the NFF for the honour, while also using the opportunity to plead that NFF should help the players pursue the Federal Government’s promise of a house for each member of the squad, following the AFCON triumph in Tunisia 25 years ago.
2ND AITEO-NFF AWARDS WINNERS
Young Player of the Year (Female): Anam Imo
Young Player of the Year (Male): Samuel Chukwueze
Fair Play Award: Akwa United FC
Fans of the Season: Kano Pillars FC Fans
Coach of the Year (Female): Thomas Dennerby
Coach of the Year (Male): Olugbenga Ogunbote
Goal of the Year: Ahmed Musa
Team of the Season: Super Falcons
NFF Development Award: Channels Television (Channels Kids’ Cup)
Special Recognition: Super Eagles of 1994
Lifetime Achievement Award: Governor Akinwunmi Ambode
NFF Presidential Award: Chief M.K.O Abiola (of blessed memory)
NFF Order of Merit Award: Fatma Samoura
Player of the Year (Female): Onome Ebi
Player of the Year (Male): Ahmed Musa
Amb. Dr. Queen Blessing Ebigieson, sworn in as new president of AMP
Nollywood’s premier guild, Association of Movie Producers, (AMP), has recently sworn in her immediate past Vice President, Amb. Dr Queen Blessing Ebigieson, as the substantive president of the association. This is following the demise of Ms Peace Anyiam-Osigwe MFR, earlier in the year and in respect of the associations constitutional provision which states that the vice president shall complete the tenure of the president in the event of the president’s permanent relocation from Lagos, impeachment or death.
In a statement Signed on Sunday in Abuja by the National Publicity Secretary of Association Nzeh Frankwhite revealed that official swearing in of the new president was held on 17th of March 2023 at the association’s national secretariat in Surulere, Lagos.
The swearing in/oat taking was administered by Barrister Nobert Ajaegbu under the supervision of the association’s Board of Trustees Chairman, Olorogun Zeb Ejiro and witnessed by some prominent stakeholders of the association.
The short ceremony was also transmitted live on zoom for the virtual participation benefit of numerous members across the globe
In her acceptance speech, the new president promised to do her best not to let down the memory of late madam Peace Anyiam-Osigwe MFR and her numerous colleagues who have reposed this confidence in her, the new president, however called for the total cooperation of all, since she can do nothing without their support.
She thanked all her colleagues from far and near and promise to ensure the association and its members will witness a season of greater glory under her watch
Other stakeholders that were present at the event were;
Francis Onwochei, Keppy Ekpeyong, Hope Opara, Lilian Ama-Aluko, Joe Dudun, Baba Agba, Tony Chukwuma, Franca Brown, Emmanuel Ogugua, Emeka Ossai, Uncle Dele Osawe, Moji Oyetayo, Favour Benson etc.
The new president has since resumed in her new role as the leader of the association in Nigeria. Congratulation!
Featured4 years ago
Lampard Names New Chelsea Manager
Featured3 years ago
FG To Extends Lockdown In FCT, Lagos Ogun states For 7days
Featured4 years ago
NYSC Dismisses Report Of DG’s Plan To Islamize Benue Orientation Camp
Featured3 years ago
Children Custody: Court Adjourns Mike Ezuruonye, Wife’s Case To April 7
Featured2 years ago
Transfer Saga: How Mikel Obi Refused to compensate me After I Linked Him Worth $4m Deal In Kuwait SC – Okafor
Sports5 months ago
TINUBU LAMBAST DELE MOMODU
Featured4 years ago
Board urges FG to establish one-stop rehabilitation centres in 6 geopolitical zones
Sports9 months ago
BREAKING: Pinnick Attacks Buhari, Sports Minister Over 3rd Term Ambition