DR. D.K OLUKOYA OF MFM; My life and passion for football
I grew up like every normal child and did participate in sporting activities,' stated Olukoya, who is a First Class Micro-Biology Graduate of the University of Lagos. 'My father was a policeman and that meant we kept moving around Nigeria because of the normal posting in The Nigeria Police Force.
'I was in charge of the footballers kits at the Adekunle Police barracks because I played football as an outside right, today's No 7, and I also did athletics.
'I supported Stationery Stores of Lagos, the darling club of Lagosians; it was the club to follow then because Stores had great players like Haruna Ilerika, Peter Aneke, Baba Ali, and many others.
'I'm really excited with the news that the club is now back and I hope they would bring back the memory of the old Stationery Stores.
'I have two (all-time favourite footballers) one is alive while the other is dead. The late Thunder Balogun was my favourite Nigerian footballer, he was very good. Then Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, aka Pele. Who would watch Pele and not love him? He's one of the best footballers ever born,' noted Olukoya who earned a Doctorate degree in Molecular Genetics from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.
He further shed light on why he established the MFM Football Club and why he runs away from predicting football matches. Excerpts
Motivation in running a football club
It is part of our 70-point agenda in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, which is to reposition the youths of this generation for Christ Jesus, using sport as a tool. We all know the power of sports in the world and so we are taking advantage of the power of football and other sports to win souls into God's kingdom. We are not using only football; there are other sports like athletics, basketball and table tennis.
As I said earlier, the motivation is following God's instruction to rescue youths of this generation from the grip of Satan. This is a very serious issue that has to be addressed as quickly as possible.
So, it's God's mandate for us at the MFM and there's no going back and He's helping us.
Fortunately, we are slowly and steadily making progress with our 70-point agenda, sports is one of them. All we are doing is engaging the youths in profitable ventures which is geared towards making them have the fear of God and become better leaders of this great country.
Our youths must be taught God's ways and this can only be done inside the church and not outside of it.
We also found out that with a football in one hand and a bible in the other, the battle to save our youths from destroying themselves will be easy to accomplish. So, if it's a ploy, using your word, it is working for us in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries with the founding of a football club.
Vision for MFM FC
We want MFM FC to be a model club side that will be a reference point for other football clubs in Nigeria and beyond; a club of champions that upholds the cardinal rule of playing fair always.
We want MFM FC to be a club where players will experience positive changes in their football careers; an ideal football club that is made up of God-fearing youths who will excel in their chosen careers and become instruments that will eradicate poverty in their linage and change their family fortunes through football.MFM FC joined the professional ranks less than two years ago and so far we've achieved so much in spite of the many challenges that exist in every human endeavour.
Our target is to gain promotion to the Premier League at the end of this season; we are on track. We will measure our success when we get there.
I grew up like every normal child and did participate in sporting activities. My father was a policeman and that means we kept moving around Nigeria because of the normal posting in The Nigeria Police Force. I was in charge of the footballer's kits at the Adekunle Police barracks because I played football as an outside right, today's No 7. I also did athletics. I supported Stationery Stores of Lagos, the darling club of Lagosians; it was the club to follow then. Stores had great players like Haruna Ilerika, Peter Aneke, Baba Ali, and many others.
I have two; one is alive while the other is dead. The late Thunder Balogun was my favourite Nigerian footballer, he was very good. Then Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, aka Pele. Who would watch Pele and not love him, one of the best footballers ever born.The Super Eagles at Brazil 2014 World Cup
The key to success is planning and working towards set targets. We've been to the World Cup four times before and this will be our fifth, have we found out the mistakes we made that stopped us in our previous appearances? If yes, are we working towards ensuring that the same mistakes are not made in Brazil? Again, are we putting God first in all we do? Nigeria is blessed with abundant talents and if well harnessed, I really can't see any other country stopping us. Let's do our best and commit the rest into God's hands.
MFM is a praying ministry; we pray and God answers our prayers. It's our duty to pray for the success of all that concerns Nigeria. We should be very careful not to trivialise the prophetic ministry. If we put God first and prepare very well for competitions, we will always come out tops.
AFN & I
We thank The Athletics Federation of Nigeria led by Evangelist Solomon Ogba for the recognition and appreciation. It's a privilege for us at MFM to help in the discovery and nurturing of talents that abound in Nigeria. Don't forget that God's mandate to MFM is to reposition Nigerian youths for Christ Jesus, and sport is one of the many ways to achieving this. We agreed to sponsor the annual Dr. D. K. Olukoya National U-18 Athletics competition when we were approached by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria about four years ago. To the glory of God, I learnt that the event has produced so many talents for Nigeria and we are very happy about the success achieved so far.
Honouring Nduka Ugbade
We were very proud that someone from MFM played a great role in winning the FIFA under 17 World Cup for Nigeria. It was a great achievement for Nduka Ugbade who had won the same trophy for Nigeria as captain in 1985, the first black African to achieve that feat. Nduka is a very dedicated young man, his likes are hard to find. So, giving him a car was just our own little way of telling him how well we appreciate him. He deserves more than that. For your information, he has been with us for close to a decade. We are very proud of him.
Thoughts on Nigerian football
The year 2013 was very good for Nigerian football. We won the Africa Nations Cup, qualified for the World Cup and crowned it with victory at the world level by winning the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. Interestingly, I was in the UAE then and we at MFM celebrated the victory with Nigeria's ambassador to that country. As a church, we are praying for a good outing by the Super Eagles at the World Cup. We are asking God to help Stephen Keshi who has been doing a very good job to pick the right players for the World Cup. As a church, we will always back the Nigeria Football Federation with prayers. I remember we sent a letter of congratulations to Aminu Maigari, the president, when Nigeria qualified for the World Cup. He is doing a very good job supported by the board, not forgetting the chairman of the Technical Committee, Barrister Christopher Green.