Shaibu, the emerging sports talisman of nigeria

Edo State, the Heartbeat of the Nation is popularly called the native land of sports in Nigeria.

The sports sector that almost went into ‘extinction’ due to gross neglect by previous administrations is alive again purely on account of the administrative and managerial acumen of the Deputy Governor who oversees the sports sector. No matter what anybody says, resources, manpower and good management all work together for the overall success of any venture. If anyone is missing in the linking chain, success may be difficult to achieve. All these combined led to the success story of sports in Edo State of today, especially that of Bendel Insurance.

As we speak, Bendel lnsurance Football Club, the Benin Arsenals of Nigerian football are back to winning ways and back to continental soccer after over four decades.

The resurgence and success story of the club will not be complete without a mention of Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State. Anybody or organisation who does otherwise is mischievou

Without any iota of doubt, Shaibu was and remains the arrowhead of the rebranded, victorious Bendel lnsurance FC and of course, it’s with the full support of his boss, Gov Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki.

Recall that Mr. Governor during his campaign for the governorship seat in 2016, promised Edo people that his Deputy as a young man, in his 50s then, will be assigned the additional responsibility of superintending over the transformation of the sports sector, which was in a state of comatose.

Shaibu, after his swearing-in into office, hit the ground running and has today, recorded monumental feats in actualizing the mandate of his onerous assignment.

Presently, lnsurance FC has become the toast of Nigerian football as it has fully bounced back to the expectations of its teeming supporters and fans across the country. They describe the Club as a huge movement and not just a football club. These teeming supporters hook on to the Bendel Insurance TV, to watch their darling team anytime they are on engagement. Again, the only football club in Nigeria with an online TV.

No doubt, the club under the coordination of Shaibu, has regained its lost glory and can compete favourably with any football team in Nigeria and beyond.

Below are highlights of the stellar achievements of Shaibu as the pillar behind the success story of Bendel lnsurance FC. These achievements cannot be wished away in whatever guise.

43 years after missing out on the most glamorous football event in Nigeria – the challenge cup – as it is popularly called, Insurance won the 2023 Federation Cup by pipping Rangers FC of Enugu one nil.

Insurance FC has entered the history book of Nigerian football as the one and the only club that conveys its players and officials by flight when playing away from home, where the distance is more than four hours by road.

As part of their historic feat in Nigeria football, Insurance and Edo Queens, the state-sponsored female club players are at parity, in terms of salaries and allowances.

Insurance and Edo Queens are the only male and female football clubs in Nigeria that have attracted sponsorship by private partners running into millions of naira.

Remodeling Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium with state-of-the-art facilities of international standards.

Construction of 20 mini-stadia across the 18 local governments in the three senatorial districts of Edo State.

Set-up of Edo State Sports Commission – a driver of the reforms and transformation of the sports sector.

Regular training and retraining of athletes, coaches and sports administrators according to global best practices for optimal performance.

Adoption of 18 sports for competitive development and inauguration of governing boards with the mandate to attract private sponsorship.

The laudable achievements of the sports-loving Deputy Governor in the transformation of the sports sector are inexhaustible.

It suffices to say that he has kept alive the vision of the present administration in reinventing and restoring the lost glory of Edo State in sports among the comity of States in Nigeria. The new Talisman of the round leather game surely deserves garlands.

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