Football

Western Nigeria Football Forum honours Ogunjobi

Dapo Sotuminu, Lagos

Arrangements have been concluded by the Western Nigeria Football Forum (WNFF), headed by the First Vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation and chairman of the Lagos FA, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, to hold a Symposium in honour of Late Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, a former Secretary General of the football federation and chairman of the Osun Football Association.

According to the 1st Vice President of the NFF and coordinator WNFF, Barrister  Seyi Akinwunmi, the symposium with the theme ‘Celebrating the life and times of Ogunjobi” will hold Wednesday at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Lekan Salami Satdium, Adamasingba, Ibadan. The Symposium will begin at 4pm.

He further informed that former NFF President, Alhaji Sani Lulu, the current president of the NFF Amaju Pinnick, the chairman of Shooting Stars Sports Club Gbolagade Busari, football legend Chief Segun Odegbami, veteran sports journalist Ade Somefun, Gboyega Makinde, Elder Bode Oyewole among others will give tributes at the event expected to have State Commissioners for Sports in Oyo and Osun as Special Guests of honour.

Also, there will be candle light procession after the symposium.

It was also gathered that there will be novelty matches involving Family United By Sports (FUBS) where he was the captain of the Lagos-based first class whatsapp group football team/ Lagos All Stars versus Ex-Shooting Stars /Osun United on Thursday.

The lying-in-state ceremony will later on Thursday take place at Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan.

The body of the late Secretary General of the NFF will be interred to mother earth on Friday at a private cementary.

Akinwunmi, while expressing sadness over the death of the former Osun FA chairman, said: “This.is an avenue to honour him because he did so well for football in the South West and Nigeria as a whole.

He enjoined all football stakeholders to turn out enmasse to pay their last respect to the former captain and Sole Administrator of the Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan,” he said.

Ogunjobi was born in Ilesa in 1953, into a Yoruba family. His twin brother, also called Taiwo, was a national champion in the 400 metres hurdles and died in the 1992 Nigerian Air Force C-130 crash.

Ogunjobi attended African Church Grammar School and then Ibadan Grammar School, whose games master at that point was Lam Adesina. He took fours years out of his football career to study in the United States, where he read Textile Engineering at the Clemson University in South Carolina, via an athletics scholarship.

He met his wife – who went on to work for the National Sports Commission – while playing for Shooting Stars. He proposed to her on the first day he met her. The couple had five children.

Ogunjobi during his active years played as a centre-back for Shooting Stars and represented Nigeria internationally. He later held posts as an administrator at club and state levels, and with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and its predecessor the Nigeria Football Association, serving as Secretary General between 2002 and 2005.

Ogunjobi played for the Nigerian academicals team; he was made captain during 1973–74 and led the side that beat the Ghanaian academicals that season. He joined Shooting Stars, then known as WNDC Ibadan, in 1973.

He left Shooting Stars in 1975 to study in the United States, but returned in 1980 and was appointed captain. He retired in 1986. He also represented the Nigerian national team, making his debut against Morocco in a qualification match for the 1984 Olympics.

Following his retirement, Ogunjobi became Deputy Director at the Ministry of Information in Oyo State. While there, he was seconded to Shooting Stars. He became the club’s secretary and was later promoted to General Manager. At that time, Ogunjobi oversaw their victory in the 1992 CAF Cup. In 1994, he was named as the club’s sole administrator, overseeing their victories in the National League and Federation Cup in 1995.

He was appointed president of Gabros International in 1999, and later moved to Julius Berger, where he served as general manager for two years.

Ogunjobi served as Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Association between 2002 and 2005. He went on to hold the post of chairman of the NFF Technical Committee, and served on the Executive Committee between 2006 and 2010.

He also worked as a member of NFF delegations at FIFA competitions between 2002 and 2010, and officiated as Match Commissioner for two qualification matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In 2012, he was one of four NFF officials that were arrested amid accusations that money had gone missing after the 2010 World Cup, and in 2013, he was issued with a ban from football-related activities for 10 years after allegedly preventing the transfer of Olarenwaju Kayode. He was cleared after both incidents.

He served as chairman of Prime United and oversaw their transition into Osun United, before resigning in 2017. After a previous attempt in 2014, in September 2018 he lost a second challenge to become NFF President. He served as chairman of the Osun State Football Association until his death in February 2019 at the University College Hospital, Ibadan following a short illness. He was aged 65.

 

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