WHY NIGERIA IS FAILING IN INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL â€“ KALU
Former Governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, has said that the injustice meted out to Enyimba Football Club of Aba was the major misfortune hindering the Nigerian national team from performing at the international level. Kalu stated this in Abuja at the three-day retreat organized by the Abuja region of The Sun Publishing Limited, publishers of the Sun Newspapers.
According to Kalu, 'God is paying back Nigeria for the injustice meted out to Enyimba Football Club of Aba, which won the Confederation African Football (CAF) Cup, which eluded Nigeria for 40 years. 'Those boys were never given any national honour, landed property or houses in Abuja. Rather they were even underrated.
'Until Nigerians honour them by giving them what is due to them, the national team would continue to experience misfortune,' he said. Paying tribute to the former Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief and the former Deputy Managing Director/Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr Mike Awoyinfa and Dimgba Igwe respectively, Kalu, who said it was the first time he was publicly commenting on their retirement from organisation, eulogised the duo who he said transformed a mere idea into reality.
'This is the first time I am publicly commenting on the departure of the former Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief and the former Deputy Managing Director/Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Mr Mike Awoyinfa and Dimgba Igwe respectively.
'The idea of The Sun Newspaper, which they conceptualised in a tabloid form, was solely their own making. By mere idea, their vision made the paper to be visible in every street in Nigeria. I retired them because I felt they have served the company for eight years, which is two terms of four years each and since I am not a believer of third term, I had to retire them so that the company can grow.
'I, for example, during my second tenure in office as the Executive Governor of Abia State, I was even getting tired to the extent that I was afraid that if I were allowed to stay longer, Obasanjo would have collected the title of 'Action Governor' from me.
'Even though they may not be tired, as a businessman, I believe they were tired. I am sure most of you know that Dimgba Igwe is my cousin. So I couldn't have disengaged them,' he said. Commenting on the idea behind The Sun Newspapers, Kalu said: 'The Sun was set up to build our environment, develop business and build young people who want to excel in journalism.'
While encouraging journalists to patiently take all forms of harassment in the discharge of their duties, Kalu further said journalists must never be troubled since the truth would always prevail. 'It is only in Nigeria that professionals are not celebrated. People like to celebrate those who have money forgetting that ideas rule the world,' he added.