with the aid of Paul Erewuba
For a few years the Nigeria football Supporters club was once embroiled in leadership trouble. however on December 10, 2016 elections held to reconcile aggrieved participants, Reverend Samuel Ikpea emerged the brand new chairman after polling 168 votes to beat rival, Alarape Muritala.
He did not depart any one doubtful of his mission and vision of the 62 years outdated club.
lately, he spoke to Saturday SunSport in Lagos.
Q: tell us about your self.
i’m Reverend Samuel Ikea, married with three kids. In 2000, after I finished my Bible direction with devoted Bible Theological college, I was ordained as a Reverend within the meeting of trustworthy Church.
i’m from Esan, Edo State and i joined the Supporters membership in 1991. by using the yr 2000, I became the 2d Assistant national Secretary, and later in 2004 the Secretary basic. In 2016, I emerged the nationwide Chairman.
Q: prior to now, folks notion Supporters membership was Rafiu Ladipo’s property, but together with your emergence as the chairman, what is the magnitude of your election in the lifetime of the club?
sure, as you said, for approximately 30 years or more, all you heard about was Rafiu Ladipo.
On the 10th of December, 2016, there used to be an election and i was elected the nationwide Chairman. To me, the Supporters club can be re-branded. we’re going to witness a re-delivery of the membership. it isn’t going to be like these days once we used to be aware of aiding the nationwide groups on my own, this time round, we’re concentrating additionally on grassroots football and different carrying actions in order to encourage the youths of Nigeria.
Q: How will you cope as a Reverend gentleman with the responsibility of being chairman?
As a Reverend, it becomes a very simple job for me. Being a Reverend is just not all about preaching in the church. As a Reverend, and Supporters membership Chairman, I share the phrase of God with them. folks love sports. We discuss sports activities and after that I share the word of God with them. i think very happy that in an awfully giant chance for me in pleasurable my calling. And Supporters club work is just not suffering.
And i do know that many lives are always touched. I do keep up a correspondence with converts and we pray together. They call me to pray for them.
Q: The Supporters club had been tainted with allegations of visa racketeering, and participants flirting with other folks’s other halves and husbands. How do you need to curb these?
First, let me proper the impression that the Supporters membership had been embroiled in racketeering and all what no longer. There has by no means been anything like that because the existence of the membership.
individuals will always speak, and those that peddle such rumours are those who find themselves too ambitious looking for one or two issues from the membership. And when they don’t have their method, they look for a option to tarnish the picture of the membership.
i have been with the membership for with regards to 30 years and i can tell you there has never been any time that individuals are having immoral acts among themselves. Any time we trip, especially when the super Eagles have an important matches, we go there fasting and praying for the staff to be triumphant.
we’re extra joyous when our team wins. We don’t go with the goal of committing immorality; we go in with prayers and supplications to God.
we’ve got lawyers, nationwide assembly participants, sports activities directors, Reverends, Journalists, docs, Businessmen, and so forth. These are respected gentlemen and girls who can’t descend so low. And on the difficulty of visa racketeering, there is not any time such has took place. The Embassies are there so that you can verify. If we commute to any usa, we’ve got a procedure. We clutch the passports of those who got here with us and once we are going, their passports are given again to them.
the entire allegations are unfounded and they’re supposed to rubbish the club’s image for reasons easiest known to them.
Q: there was talks of anyone else claiming to be the Supporters membership Chairman. Between the 2 of you who’s the authentic chairman?
We shouldn’t have two Supporters membership Chairmen. Two captains can’t be in a ship. i need the general public to understand that Vincent Okumagba was by no means elected as the national chairman of the Supporters club. He was once appointed as an appearing chairman. earlier than we did our elections, there were quite a few anti-membership actions by way of him. One used to be the submission of names to the Brazilian Embassy all through the Olympics. After he was impeached for anti- club activities, he went away and ran to the NFF. The NFF known as us for a peace meeting and it was once presided over by Bola Oloyede. We entered into an MOU which was once extensively publicised that we must conduct an election on December 10. He used to be also asked to apologise to us. He was once introduced again and requested to pick out a form. He complained of the composition of the thirteen-man electoral committee. He was once requested to pick out his option and removed three names which the NFF licensed. Out of the 12-man electoral committee participants that he approved for himself, eleven have been in Lagos to habits the election, only one was once absent. We held the election in Lagos and that i gained. The election was supervised by way of Dr. Amos Adamu, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, Chief Ojo-oba and other distinguished sports women and men including journalists.
Q: What are the excessive and low points at some stage in supporting the super Eagles?
the fervour you’ve got for a particular factor keeps you going. And that is one factor that has been encouraging me. The saddest moment in my existence was in 2002 Mali nations Cup. We went to Mali via street with six luxurious buses from Lagos. And with all of the make stronger, the Eagles crashed out within the semi finals. if truth be told, the whole world came crashing on me. once I checked out all of the sufferings we had, I appeared up to heaven and shed tears. I used to be so emotional that I fell sick.
Q: Pinnick’s victory at CAF, what’s your take on that?
it’s a nice one. And i’m so chuffed that he defeated arrogant Anjorin of Benin. Pinnick’’s victory will unquestionably appeal to sure things to Nigerian soccer, I haven’t any doubt about that. We must due to this fact give a boost to him.
Q what is the actual name of your membership. Some say Nigeria and other sports while others, Nigeria soccer Supporters membership. Which can we name it?
In 1999, our Grand consumer, former President Olusegun Obasanjo said we had been aiding simplest soccer; it was once time for us to make stronger different sports activities. That was once the year; we modify our constitution and changed the name to Nigeria soccer and different sports Supporters membership. the 2 clubs are registered by us, but for now, the actual name we’re maintaining is Nigeria soccer Supporters club.
Q: What are the challenges facing the club?
Finance is one among our challenges. We spend our own cash traveling all over the place the continent and the sector to give a boost to the tremendous Eagles. occasionally, after we land in some international locations, they up the prices of the accommodations, claiming we are giants of Africa, that we now have cash. We use our particular person money and it isn’t humorous. i’d say executive has now not supported us and i want the federal executive to take action.
Q: What modifications do envisage for the membership?
This administration will not only focal point on assisting the nationwide groups on my own. we’re going to be curious about helping grassroots sports activities. we would be partnering with the NFF in organising pleasant suits and group up with the NFF. we’re additionally going to have Supporters membership museum the place we can have our relics displayed. These and plenty of more are one of the crucial issues we would be doing aside aiding the teams.