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Aside the June 12, 1993 political debacle, Late Chief MKO Abiola will be remembered for his love for sports. He touched the lives of athletes, administrators, fans and even sports journalists.
Aside being Africa’s Pillar of Sports, he ran one of the best managed football clubs in Nigeria if not Africa….Abiola Babes FC….though defunct yet left a bold legacy in club football management and administration in this clime.
Abiola lead the way in sorting out travelling expenses of opposing teams that played away games to Abiola Babes FC yet paid them bonuses/allowances.
He rescued Team Nigeria severally in international engagements like the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games or All Africa Games.
That the National Stadium Abuja was named after him is very befitting. One can only pray that Abiola’s sporting spirit will revive sports in the country. It is sad that the neglect of the National Stadium Abuja has literally turned the edifice into a “mini abandoned” facility as overgrown grasses turned the surroundings into bushes which breed reptiles.
This was same way the National Stadium, Lagos was left for reptiles to takeover….and when it was fumigated, it became a crusade and night vigil ground. While it was to be handed over to Lagos State government, some people in the Sports Ministry, Abuja ran underground deals with the facility.
Sports has been in a state of coma in the country as sporting facilities have been left moribund by those managing them. This has ensured that talents are no longer discovered in these facilities because no serious activities go on in them. Coaches resort to taking bribes from athletes to include them on assignments instead of duly hunting for them on these facilities.
We hope the spirit of Abiola’s love for sports will revive sports by entering into our administrators to take better care of our sporting facilities and also manage sports the way it should be.