Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Obijackson 2014 Football Championship: Anambra state-born oil magnet smashes millions of naira on youths







Okechukwu Onuegbu

In a bid to touch the lives of “poorest of the poor” in our societies, Group Managing Director of NESTOIL PLC and Founder of Obijackson Foundation, Dr. (Sir) Ernest Azudialu Obiejesi, has splashed-out millions of naira to the winners of this year’s obijackson football championship in the Anambra South Senatorial district.
This was barely four months, the oil magnet awarded scholarships to best brains in Okija, Ihiala council area of Anambra state at the end of 2014 face of okija primary and secondary school quiz competition.
Obijackson football championship is an annual soccer competition, usually sponsored by Sir Obiejesi; but formally played among the football clubs in the Ihiala Local Government Area. However, the 2014 edition which was fourth of it kinds encompassed other council areas in Anambra south senatorial zone. Among the participated third tiers of government were Aguata, Ekwusigo, Ihiala, Nnewi North and South, OrumbaNorth and South.
Orient Daily learnt that the tournament kick-started December 2013 and ended January 2014 but prises were not dished to the winners till last week, 17th July, 2014 due to some unforeseen circumstances.
Our reporter who graced the prise presentation held at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Ubahu Okija, reported that checks of five hundred thousand naira were presented to Ekwulobia FC, Ihembosi Youth FC, Ihiala United Breaker, Upperhand FC, Fountain FC and Bessy Christ FC for emerging first position at their respective council areas; while Umuona FC, South Africa FC, Hammakopp FC, Ukpor FC, Rising Star FC and Ogbunka FC who took second received three hundred thousand naira each; even as Amesi FC, Oraifite FC, Ebenesi FC, Osumenyi FC, Herculus FC and Eziagu FC respectively got two hundred thousand naira for coming third.
Speaking at the occasion, Arch. Barr. James Akporero, the Manager of Obijackson Foundation who incidentally represented his boss, Dr. Sir Ernest Obiejesi, explained that the annual event was part of the foundation’s premises to shower smiles on the poor and the less privileged at the grassroot through diverse means.   
Akporero, while adding that Sir Obiejesi would never relent in wiping-out poverty in Nigeria, noted that the sponsor chose to invest on sport in order to assist government and other stakeholders in discovering and training young stars that would make the country and Africa proud.
According to him, the next Obijackson Football Championship would be ‘a football talent hunt’ meant for Under 17 youths in Anambra state, and it will witness the presence of International Coaches, Managers of soccer clubs and observers, even as the best players to emerge from the tournament would be financed to any level they wished to go in football.
To that effect, Arch Akporero, who doubles as the Chairman, Delta State Table Tennis Association, disclosed that his boss has commenced plans to establish an internationally befitting stadium. 
Similarly, he charged “A” level students at any level and in any institution of learning in Nigeria to identify with the foundation with a view to be awarded scholarship for further studies, as Sir Obiejesi was determined to help the underprivileged; sick persons and destitute in realising their dreams.
Earlier speaking, the Chairman, Anambra State Football Association, Barr. Jude Obikwelu commended Obijackson for the football competition, and implored him to accept the state government offer to partner with it in sponsoring the 2014 Anambra State Under 17 Champions league coming up soon.
He, however, bemoaned that is only trios of Sir Obiejesi, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo and Odenigbo Nanka were helping government towards transforming the state sports sector despite the numerous influential Anambrarians.
While extolling the sole financier of the football match, the Anambra State Chairman of Sport Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Mr. Damain Egwuonwu and a-member of AFA, Sir Albert Chinwe, pledged to be partners of progress, on behalf of their various groups.
SWAN also promised to give adequate reportage to the forthcoming Anambra 2014 under 17 football champions league.
In an interview, some of the beneficiaries, including Coach Okechukwu Maduabuchi of Ezinagu FC prayed the major financier of the game to sustain the tempo, while enjoining other well meaning Anambrarians to join hands with Obijackson in taking sports to an enviable height because according to him, sport is a panacea to ending crimes and poverty in the country.

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