Former President of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU), Chief Jonathan Ogufere, has paid tributes to the late former Governor of old Midwest and father of defunct Bendel State, Brig. Gen Samuel Ogbemudia, disclosing that he used sports as an effective instrument for governance.
Ogufere who founded the P&T Vasco Da Gama of Enugu and currently leads the Association of Sports Veterans said the late Ogbemudia promoted and lived sports and evoked the spirit of patriotism and pride in most Midwesterners, especially the youth.
“Not all rulers recognize the importance of sports particularly its attribute as a unifying factor,” Ogufere began in his tribute.
“The well beloved and respected former Governor used sports to successfully govern the then Midwest a micro-Nigeria with its several tribes. He knew sports, loved sports, lived sports and promoted it earnestly. He recognized the abundance of talents that abound in the region, hunted them and transformed them to national and international champions, utilizing infrastructures such as Stadia, the Afuze Sports Camp, Swimming Pools and Clubs which he developed.
“He evoked the spirit of patriotism and pride in most Midwesterners particularly the youths. In no time the old Midwest/Bendel became the foremost Sports State in the country, the position they held for many years.
The nation recognized the prowess and ability of this icon as an avid administrator and at the end of his tenures in the state, he was appointed Chairman of National Sports Commission, a position he also held creditably.
“As we all mourn the departure of this national hero, I trust that he will be appropriately honoured by both Edo and Delta States and the Nation.