….. if this man starts collecting bribe, Nigerians should blame his employers
On Tuesday October 10 2019, former Nigerian international Imama Amapakabor led the Under 23 National team to a resounding 5nil victory against their Sudanese counterparts in Asaba, thus qualifying Nigeria for the CAF Under-23 Nations Cup taking place in Egypt. Amidst the funfare and the celebration that greeted this wonderful performance, lies the burden of living and working with no joy and struggling to survive in the midst of plenty. As Super Eagles assistant coach, he has no written contract, as head coach of the Under 23 National team, he has no contract and has not been paid since April this year. Even at that, he has boldly resisted the sweet temptation of collecting bribe from agents and players who call daily begging for an opportunity to play for the National team.
These agents are offering millions of naira to get their wards wear the National team jersey but Imama has remained resolute in the face of tempting offers because he lives with the adage that “A good name is better than riches” As much as he desires to stay loyal to his conscience, as much as he battles with all the frustrations of working without pay, he strives to always give his best at all time. What this means is that we have a coach who gives so much to please his fatherland and gets so little for his dedication, commitment and undying passion to serve this country. Schools resume on Monday next week and this proud father who has just taken Nigeria one step closer to qualifying for the football event of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, is struggling to gather enough money to foot the expenses of his children who watch daddy celebrate victory on television but have learnt to live with the agony of too many unpleasant excuses from a very popular father. On Tuesday in Asaba, Nigerians present at the stadium, stood to applaud good football artistry displayed by a team that barely spent three weeks together. For the first time in a long while, we saw a Nigerian starting eleven that has six home based players. We also had the rare privilege to celebrate three goals scored by two home based players and a new name was also added to our long list of emerging central defenders. He is Olisa Ndah, son of a former Nigerian international, Ndubuisi Ndah. For those who didnt watch the match, this is a list of the six home based players that took Sudan to the cleaners on Tuesday and they are all products of the Imama revolution. Goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar of Wikki tourist , Olisa Ndah a central defender with Remo stars, John Lazarus right full back with Lobi stars, Ebube Duru left full back, Ndifreke Effiong attacking midfielder with Akwa united (scored two of the goals against Sudan), Sunusi Ibrahim also scored one goal and he plays for Nassarawa United. It is also on record that for the first time in a long while, a Nigetian team managed to score five goals in a competitive match, no thanks to Imama, Boboye and Ilechukwu, three men who toiled day and night to achieve success despite their obvious difficulties. Now the big question confronting all of you reading this piece is, will you crucify these men if they decide to collect bribe to make ends meet? Is it morally wrong for these men to throw decorium to the wind and start doing dirty things in camp? If you ask me, I will say no because at this point, they need to keep going and in doing so, they must find a way to survive.