December 14, 2013 | Opinion/Feature
MICHAEL UBOGU: THE PILLAR OF GRASSROOTS SPORTS IN NIGERIA
High Chief Michael Orobosa Ubogu, the Managing Director of Micura Services limited recently organized first Micura soccer championship at the Nigerian Navy Barracks field, Mobil Road Apapa in Lagos. It was a sports event that drew mighty sports lovers and spectators from far and near to witness the monumental grassroots sports fiesta of young people exhibiting their skillfulness in football. Though High Chief Michael Ubogu is a man who has compassion for downtrodden in the society. He believes that giving back to the society is the best alternative for any great Nigerian that has received Godly prosperity in all ramifications. He has the spirit of giving and that was why he took a novelty match to Kirikiri prison to extend love to the prisoners with his beloved friends. Not everybody that is wealthy that has the spirit of giving to the poor people in Nigeria and beyond. He belongs to the school of givers without altercation. His birthday bash recently attracted people of integrity because of his kind gesture with multiple awards to his credit. Those that give will never lack according to the Holy Bible which Chief Ubogu has over the years established. Chief Michael Ubogu is a man who has seen the four walls of university of poverty over the years and enthusiastically strong-minded to get out of that level of denunciation and mortification through hardwork and dream. He believes that appreciating poor people especially the young talented ones. He also believes that giving attracts blessings. He is not a difficult person but straightforward and ready to make young people to realize their God's given vision in life. He is a philanthropist with intellectual difference in Nigeria who also believes that young career development should be encouraged and which would reduce social vices among youths in Nigeria. His recent extension of philanthropic gesture on grassroots sports was a welcome development because over the years, he has positively impacted on young Nigerians through his annual scholarships, school quiz competitions and sinking of pole holes in rural communities and empowerment of widows. He has also break records in Ashaka community in Delta State in terms of scholarship programmes for the youths and others. Chief Ubogu is a sport lover to the core. Some Nigeriasn that are wealthy today, do not have the mindsets to help to develop young talented footballers rather want to enrich themselves only. He is a maritime expert who knows his calling to the core. The Micura Soccer Championship that commenced on the 19th of September , 2013 with great opening ceremony and press briefing on how the competition would be hosted and 16 teams participated which were divided into four groups, Group 1, All saints FC, Maracana Sportive FC, Cleverz Stars, Bright Stars, Group 2, Trinity FC, Ebenezer FC, KAF FC, Ettafia FC, Group 3, Stallion FC, De Victorious FC, Victory FC, Young Talented and Group 4, Determined Stars FC, Adejumo Babes, Skillful FC, Evergreen FC etc. Out of these 16 teams that participated in this Micura Soccer championship, only three emerged as the winners. He believes that this competition could give opportunity for young players to be included in the next Nation's Cup and World Cup and others. Chief Michael Ubogu as he is fondly called by his veritable admirers as 'Double Chief,' though he has received two chieftaincy titles from the Eastern and Southern parts of Nigeria due his philanthropic contribution to the society over the years. He is a great man of valour and many described him as the biblical David as 'Man after God's heart. His humanitarian services are unbeatable. This Micura Soccer Championship run for one consecutive week with three teams emerging winners with trophies and others. Before, High Chief Ubogu became one of the fast growing entrepreneurs in Nigeria, he worked with several companies and graduated from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and came out in flying colours and also attended professional trainings in Nigeria and abroad. He once lived in Ajegunle, a popular slum city in Lagos. High Chief Michael Ubogu is a man with mission to accomplish and want to see others growing from zero level to hero level. According to Michael Ubogu in his brief speech on why he welcomed the idea of organizing this competition which is capital intensive said, his joy to make young people fulfill their dreams. This competition will be a continuous one and we shall host a mock competition next year for young footballers in Nigeria and some of these good players we have opportunity to join the Nigeria National team and participate in next Nation's cup. He loves playing football with local footballers every Friday in one of the fields in Lagos as part of exercise to his body and support to local footballers too. He added that quality players will be sent abroad through foreign partners. It is also my joy to see young talented Ajegunle Footballers playing in foreign leagues. I travelled outside the country to get foreign partners that will support these young footballers because only I cannot do it. Football is all about building young people for the future. The likes of Samson Siasia, Taribo West and others came from Ajegunle.We must work hard to get such good players again. The three notable teams emerged winners after several hours of field of play with their opponents. The first winner of the competition went to Evergreen FC with the sum of #100,000 while second winner, Bright stars #60,000 and third winner, Ettafia FC, #40,000. The highest goal scorer for the competition Godwin Aguda was given#10,000 while the most valuable player Kaseem Zola was also given #10,000. It was a scintillating sports event of the 21st century. Michael Ubogu also added in his speech that these Micura Emerging winners would participate in the 28th edition of African's Cup of Nation. I am called to nurture young promising footballers in Nigeria. He believes that investing in sports in Nigeria will also help to reduce unemployment and criminal activities among youths in the country. Sports help to heal our suffering leadership problems in Nigeria. My dream is to make stars from Ajegunle. Some of my reputable friends are also supporting me to make this vision to come to limelight. Sports business is huge investment in foreign lands. In Nigeria, we must develop our young footballers and make our sports facilities a world class. Chief Michael Ubogu is the great pillar of grassroots sports in Nigeria. He came from a humble family and Delta State. Michael Ubogu cannot be easily forgotten in hurry in terms of grassroots sports and others. Micura organizing committee that made him fulfilled the vision of growing talented footballers in Agegunle, apart from his financial commitment; they were Pastor Benjamin Igoh, Foster Arebi Kayode, Alhaji Tiri Bright and others. The crème da la crème of sports lovers that graced the event were Tunde Alapini, the executive director of Micura Services Limited, Chief Bab Isile1, Chief Isebere, Chief Jasunmolo, Kunle Odelola, Alabara, Alhaji Saliu, Fineboy, Uyo Effiong, Comodore Eloko, General Lunise and General Henry. These teams were coached by high professional coaches in Nigeria. Ajegunle is a land of milk and honey with abundant talents to groom at all levels. Michael Ubogu is a man with focus. He is an entrepreneur that pays his staffers in time. He cares much about the welfare of his staffers in all levels. Micura Company remains the best Maritime Company in Nigeria with many meritorious awards to his credit. He is a core Christian. Finally, Michael Ubogu is the leader of leaders, sports supporter of supporters, entrepreneur of entrepreneurs, vision promoter of promoters, legend of legends, award winner of winners, mentor of mentors, philanthropist of philanthropists , Maritime expert of experts and others. He is happily married to a beautiful wife and blessed with children. Written By Godday Odidi
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