By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Nigeria Pillar of Sports, Chief Donatus Agu Ejidike, J.P has commended the courage of President Mohammad Buhari for taking the bull by the horn declaring June 12 Democracy Day and naming a monumental edifice like the Abuja National Stadium after the the patriarch of Pillar of Sports in Africa and Nigeria, Chief MKO Abiola, GCFR to correct errors of the past.
Chief Donatus Agu Ejidike in a press statement made available by the Chaurman, Office of the Nigeria Pillar of Sports, Prince Olayioye Shola Ajide , the pronouncements by th President Buhari has clearly demonstrated that contributions of patriotic Nigerians to the development of the nation would not be in vain but acknowledged.
The sports philanthropist declared that the contributions of late Chief MKO Abiola are unequalled and wondered if there could be anyone that would surpass his records which earned him Africa Pillar of Sports and Nigeria Pillar of Sports.
According to Ejidike, “MKO spent his wealth like manure to promote sports. He has undiluted passion for sports. I have great respect for him. He is an extra- ordinary enthusiast when it comes to sports. He was loved and appreciated by all which I believe helped him to win the June 12, 1993 Presidential elections”
In the words of Ejidike, Abiola successfully ran Abiola Babes Football Club and financed two other clubs(Concord FC and ITT FC). He also supported his late wife, Simbiat to bankroll a female football club known as Kakanfo FC.
“Chief MKO Abiola sponsored the National Supporters Club to virtually all match venues, he paid all flight expenses of Super Eagles in some instances, he assisted players financially and personally risked his life in some circumstances.Abiola utilized his business proceeds in sponsoring various sporting activities in Nigeria and 14 other African countries such as Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia, and Tunisia among several contributions aside from grassroots development”. Ejidike recalled.
The current Nigeria Pillar of Sports, Ejidike sounded that Chief MKO Abiola left a vacuum in sports which will be very difficult to fill and for the Federal Government of Nigeria to immortalize him would spur every philanthropist to strive hard to contribute knowing fully well that their labour will not be in vain.
The Nnewi- born sports administrator added that June 12 is synonymous to MKO Abiola hence the Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Buhari must be applauded for taking the bold steps.
With this action in the words of Ejidike, Nigeria will be better as Nigerians will imbibe the spirit of nationalism and patriotism.