Yesterday, at the prestigious Sheraton Hotel and Towers Abuja, the most decorated and most successful Nigerian Footballer ever as well as the former Super Eagles Captain and Chelsea icon, John Mikel Obi paid homage to the best Senator ever produced by Anambra South, the Extremely Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the incoming Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Sen Dr Ifeanyi Ubah
John Mikel Obi who hails from Neni in Anambra State has been a long time friend and loyalist of Sen Dr Ifeanyi Ubah but unknown to majority of the people, Sen Dr Ifeanyi Ubah was instrumental in John Mikel Obi becoming the Captain of the Super Eagles through his influence in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)
John Mikel Obi ranked as the 2nd best teenager behind Argentine Legend, Lionel Messi while Taye Taiwo came 3rd simply because Nigeria lost to Argentina by 2 goals to 1 (both goals scored by Messi from the penalty spot dubiously) in the Finals of the Nigeria 2005 FIFA u20 World Cup held in Netherlands to finish second while Brazil came third. Mikel shot into limelight when Manchester United and Chelsea were involved in an imbroglio over his signature, with Jose Mourinho beating Sir Alex Ferguson in the end to secure Mikel
Mikel went ahead to become an indispensable player for the Super Eagles and garnered tons of experience yet wasn’t trusted with the Captain armband on a permanent basis until Sen Dr Ifeanyi Ubah stepped in and facilitated his confirmation as the undisputed Super Eagles Captain in the absence of Yobo, in whose presence, Mikel was the Deputy Captain which he later took over and made it his permanently when Yobo retired from National Football
This is just one of the many things Sen Dr Ifeanyi Ubah did for athletes Ndi Anambra and Ndi Igbo using his capacity in the NFF, CAF and FIFA even to track and field athletes not forgetting his numerous cash donations to National teams which spurred them to do well down to paying off hotel bills several times when the teams got stranded abroad, chartering flights for the teams to and fro tournaments as well as paying the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr his $60,000 monthly salary for about 2yrs before the NFF secured an official sponsor that took over the payment of the salaries
So it was a heart warming reunion for the brothers as Mikel since his retirement from National Team Football, has been with his family in Russia and hadn’t visited Nigeria so it came as a surprise to see him, fit and healthy even as he currently plays for Stoke FC in the United Kingdom
When Sen Dr Ifeanyi Ubah assumes the seat, legends like John Mikel Obi came finally be proud to bring his Russian wife and children to Neni as well as invest in Anambra State instead of Abuja, Lagos and Jos as he currently does because Sen Dr Ifeanyi Ubah will provide every necessary and enabling criteria needed to bring back our legends and lure investors back to our darling State under the economic diversification scheme.
By Ugochukwu Ifeanyi