Spanish footballer, Fernando Torres arrives Uyo Nigeria
Spainish striker, Fernando Torres has touched down in Uyo, Nigeria alongside some of his team mates from Athletico Madrid.

The top flight LaLiga club are set to play against the Super Eagles of Nigeria on Tuesday, 22nd May 2018 at the Godswill Akpabio stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
EPL: Santi Cazorla finally leaves Arsenal after six years


Arsenal has released midfielder, Santi Cazorla after six years with the club.

The 33-year-old joined the North London club from Malaga in 2012.

The Spain international won two FA Cups with the Gunners and scored an exquisite free-kick in the 2014 cup final win against Hull City.


The midfielder has been sidelined for the last 18 months with an Achilles injury and the Gunners have decided against handing the former Villarreal star a new deal.

Confirming the exits of Cazorla on Monday, Arsenal chief, Ivan Gazidis told the club’s official website, “Santi is always one of my favourite players to watch. His natural ability with both feet, his speed of thought and movement were central to our best performances in recent years.

“He plays with a joy and freedom which is very rare. We wish him well for the future and thank him for his important contribution to our club.”
Adeyeye speaks on joining APC, accuses Fayose’s aide of spreading falsehood

Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, has denied news on the social media that he has joined the All Progressives Congress (APC).


Adeyeye, former Minister of State for Works had announced his resignation from thevPDP some weeks ago.

In a statement on Monday by Director of Media, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement (PAAM), Niyi Ojo, Adeyeye described the claims that he has joined the APC as deliberate falsehood, urging members of the public to disregard same.

The social media has been awash with reports suggesting that Adeyeye has moved to the APC after an alleged visit to Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun in Abeokuta.

He said: “There is deliberate falsehood and blackmail trending on social media that Prince Adeyeye and his supporters have defected to APC with a promise of #200million to be sourced by Governor Amosun of Ogun State.

“The rumours emanated from Prime Reporters, a blog owned and managed by Governor Fayose’s Media aide, Lere Olayinka, whose life achievement as a journalist is to libel, blackmail and malign the integrity of any person apart from who is presently feeding him.


“We call on the general public to disregard the write up as the figment of the imagination of the author.

“Prince Adeyeye has the right to any political association of his choice and he knows how to unveil his new platform without recourse to yellow journalism as evidenced from the publication of falsehood to the general public.

“We assured all lovers and admirers of Prince Adeyeye that in a matter of days a broad based platform for the realization of him ambition shall be made known after extensive consultations and deliberations.”
DOWNLOAD MUSIC: Harrysong ft Kiss Daniel & Reekado Banks – Selense
Harrysong Selense Mp3 Download
Alter Plate music boss and front star Harrysong debuts another hit new song “Selense” featuring Mavin Records well doing artiste Reekado Banks and Fly Boy’s music boss Kiss Daniel, produced by Yung Alpha.

DOWNLOAD & ENJOY!

NAIJA MP3 DOWNLOAD: Harrysong ft Kiss Daniel & Reekado Banks – Selense
DOWNLOAD MUSIC: BGMFK ft Mr. Eazi – Issa Vibe

BGMFK ft Mr. Eazi Issa Vibe Mp3 Download
Critically acclaimed francophone urban band BGMFK (Bantu Rhythms And Instruments Gang, Money F**kin’ Kills) have teamed up with multi-awards winning artist Mr Eazi (Banku Music) and super-producer James BKS (Grown Kid) to release the new single, “Issa Vibe”. The track will be featured on their upcoming album, which will be released in full via their imprint Club Classique/Universal Music Africa.

Comprised of 5 multi-talented members (MickyR, Troy, Jey RspctMe, Yvy Realkiller & Rickbeatz) and strong from their multicultural and diverse influences, the multi-disciplinary collective BGMFK has steadily gained acclaim and recognition through their very distinct world signature sound which they commonly refer to as Afro Street’: The waves you listen to in the streets of Africa.

Club Classique has produced over 9 videos and 3 projects and featured exceptional acts (Sarkodie, Says’z, Hiro, Vegas Ace, Spellz, Dj Exki, MrEazi and more) since 2016 in order to help establish a new sound from Africa to the world. Issa Vibe will surely leave many astonished.

Download & Listen below:

MP3 DOWNLOAD : BGMFK ft Mr. Eazi – Issa Vibe
EPL: Arteta could reject Arsenal job after talks with Patrick Vieira

Manchester City assistant coach, Mikel Arteta is said to be having second thoughts about replacing ex-Gunners boss, Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.


The Daily Star, UK, reports that Arteta is having second a thought about accepting the managerial role after speaking to ex-Arsenal midfielder, Patrick Vieira.

The Spaniard is the leading candidate to take the job after holding talks with the Gunners’ hierarchy last week.


According to the British newspaper, the 36-year-old held talks with Vieira about succeeding Wenger and the Frenchman claimed to be surprised by the lack of control the new manager will have over transfers.

The report claims that Arteta is now having concerns about Arsenal’s new power structure in which the head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat has a huge input in new arrivals.
FUTMINNA 2018/2019 Postgraduate Studies Admission Form Out

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for admission into the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA) postgraduate programmes for the 2018/2019 academic session.

Read: FUTMINNA Postgraduate Courses and Requirements

Duration of FUTMINNA Postgraduate Programmes.

Master Degree Programmes
The Master Degree programmes are expected to last a minimum of three Semesters for full-time students and there is no part time for Master’s degree programmes. The maximum allowable periods of studies shall be six semesters for full-time, subject to passing all courses at the end of each semester and maintaining a CGPA of 2.5 at the end of the course-work programme. Failure to meet this requirement will result in withdrawal from the programme.
PhD Programme
A Minimum of six semesters (three (3) academic sessions) and maximum of ten semesters (five (5) academic sessions) for full-time students.
A Minimum of ten semesters (five (5) academic sessions) and maximum of fourteen semesters (seven (7) academic sessions) for part-time students respectively.
Postgraduate Diploma Programmes
Please note that any candidate with PASS grade at either OND or HND does not qualify for admission. Generally, Full-time Students are expected to graduate normally after Three Semesters on successful completion of their programmes, subject to maintaining a minimum CGPA of 1.50 in any semester.

FUTMINNA Postgraduate General Admission Requirements.

A candidate applying for Postgraduate Studies in the Federal University of Technology, Minna must have obtained five (5) Credits in WAEC, NECO, NABTEB and GCE (O’Level) or their equivalents including English Language and Mathematics at not more than two sittings. No admission shall be made on the basis of any awaiting results and no exemption is made for admission into any programme.
1 Ph.D. Programmes
  1. Candidates for admission for any of PhD Programme shall be Master Degree graduates of the Federal University of Technology, Minna or any other University recognized by the Senate or holders of equivalent qualifications acceptable to the University Senate(Not professional masters).
  2. A Master Degree holder applying for PhD Programme of the University must have maintained a weighted score average of 60% or a ‘B’ grade or a CGPA of 3.50 out of 5.00 in overall performance in the Master Degree programme.
  3. Appropriate courses may be prescribed for candidates whose background is considered weak for the areas of specialization. This is done at the discretion of the School/Department within the approved general regulations/guidelines of the Postgraduate School.
2. Master Degree Programmes
  1. A Minimum of Second Class Honours (Lower Division) degree from Federal University of Technology, Minna or any other recognized University.
  2. A Third Class Honours Degree with at least 3 years graduation experience in relevant fields may be considered. In some areas, passing a qualifying examination to be administered by the Department of the candidates, in consultation with the Postgraduate School, may be required.
  3. Candidates with HND with a minimum of Lower Credit, OND Lower Credit and a Postgraduate Diploma in relevant field with, at least a minimum of Lower Credit and one year graduation experience may be considered.
  4. For avoidance of doubt, candidates with PASS grade at any level Degree, PGD, HND and OND do not qualify for admission to the PhD/ Master/PGD Programmes. No Diploma candidate with CGPA less than 2.50 qualifies for admission into the Master Degree Programmes.
  5. Where examination is required as in the case of (ii) and (iii) above, an examination fee of N2000.00 will be charged outside the cost of Postgraduate application forms.
  6. In all cases of admission the final decision on qualified candidates rests with the Postgraduate School Board. Candidates with Science-based background are normally considered.
  7. All Master Degree Programmes require course work components in addition to research work components. There is no exemption. A Thesis must be defended and submitted for a student to qualify and graduate.
3.         Postgraduate Diploma Programmes
i. First degree in relevant areas from any recognised university.
ii. Candidates with a minimum of  Lower Credit at HND level are eligible for admission.
iii. Candidates with PASS grade are not eligible for admission.

How to Apply for FUTMINNA Postgraduate Admission.

  1. All applications for Postgraduate programmes are online through the University website; futminna.edu.ng
  2. Applications will be accessible as from 14th May, 2018
  3. All requested information on the online application must be correctly, and accurately provided with current and active email addresses and phone numbers.
  4. Completed application forms must be submitted online through the University portal latest on 31st August, 2018. All necessary instructions on filling of form must be adhered to and failure to do so is sufficient ground to disqualify an applicant.
  5. Completed application forms must be printed out as they would be requested for during registration, on successful admission.
  6. All PhD Applicants must upload their research proposal of interest and ensure that their official transcripts are forwarded to;
    The Secretary,
    Postgraduate School,
    Federal University of Technology,
    Minna, Niger State.
    before the processing of admission. Official transcripts could also be sent through our Email (pgs@futminna.edu.ng) to be uploaded before processing of admission.
  7. It is the responsibility of each candidate to ensure that the online referee reports are duly filled and submitted by the respective referees before the closing date. (Minimum of two (2) referees must be submitted on line).
  8. All certificates must be uploaded in their original form and in colour.
APPLICATION FORMS
University charges an application fee of Ten thousand naira (N10,000.00) plus, Two hundred and fifty naira (N250.00) Remita charge making a total of ten thousand two hundred and fifty naira (N10,250.00) payable online via the Remita platform with the use of Master or Verve card through the School portal.
PAYMENT OF FEES AND THE PROCEDURES
All successful applicants offered provisional admission must undergo the following registration formalities: screening, payment of fees, and registration. This shall be completed within a stipulated date beyond which the candidate loses the admission.
Tips, Guides, Benefits of Video Marketing in Nigeria
Video marketing is one of the most popular ways of getting more attention of the customers. Video marketing is suited to any type of products and services. There is a false belief that video marketing is not that effective as compared to direct marketing with flyers, brochures and tele-calling which is incorrect.
Are you aware that video marketing increases brand awareness and also helps to deliver the message in an impressive way?
With the popularity of video marketing increasing every year, a lot of the companies now use videos for fundraising, recruitment, networking and branding?
Statistics say that 50% of the internet userswatch videos related to the product before purchasing from a store. It seems that 500 million Facebook users watch Facebook videos every day.
Video Marketing looks interesting doesn’t it? Also one should remember companies prefer video marketing as one of the best marketing tools that creates best return on investment.  Read review : https://fanpagecraft.com/easy-sketch-pro-3-0-review/ if you want find a software create video marketing

Getting Started

Video marketing adds more attention to the marketing campaign.

Read on to get more insights of video marketing….
The following are crucial for beginners to be successful in video marketing
  • Make a plan and track your progress
  • Proceed with what you know
  • Start creating the video
  • Look for matters from various resources and get a clarity

Make a Plan and Track Progress

Have a SMART goal to achieve it

Be more Specific:
The detailed information provided has to be sufficient in focusing the issues or opportunities. Is the plan sufficiently detailed in giving the insights of real world issues and the opportunities.
Have a Metric:
Look into the  possibilities of   having realistic quantitative or qualitative statistics being applied as a metric.
Put into Action:
Does the information provided improve performance of the products or services. If the video marketed doesn’t improve the performance, then the information still has to be properly structured
Is it Relevant:
Is the video marketing campaign address the issues that consumers face with the products or services in the market.
Make it Time-bound:
Track the videos for the marketing campaign and review frequently whether the set targets are achieved against the marketed videos.
Whether consistent growth can be achieved with video marketing comes down to two  basic criteria:
    1. Observing the video and recreating it with additional information in future videos.
    2. Identifying the negatives in the video and ensuring removal in future videos.
The above criteria will improve the effectiveness of video marketing.
It is also possible to have video marketing with a minimum budget. Users who follow you on Instagram will not necessarily follow on Facebook and vice versa. If one need to reach every possible user, then the video has to be uploaded on all the possible social media platforms.
In the long run, this will give you an idea, where more followers respond to your videos. This minor information will enable you choose where to invest money for video marketing.

Proceed with what you are know

To start with, one should be clear on what type of video needs to be created.

Generally, there are three types of video marketing available.
  • Videos for Education
  • Videos for Inspiration
  • Videos for Products & services

Videos for Education:

Videos for education are used to give step by step guides on how to use a product or service. It may come as a guide or a review and help the user make the best use of a product or service.

Videos for Inspiration

These videos are related to motivating one’s behavior. This can be used in the tourism industry to inspire people to take a trip to some of the most exotic location.

Videos for Products & Services

These videos describes the  products and services. They may also tell you what you will gain by using the product or service.

Start Creating the Video

Keep in mind, that it is not necessary that the first video content comes out great. Expecting the first video to be perfect is really unrealistic. One should not feel stressed when creating the first video.
As times goes on, you will gain in experience, which will make your video content more professional in the long run. Note that though the first video of your video marketing does not need to be perfect, the content however needs to be relevant.

Find More Resources about Video Marketing to Improve yourself

Look into the various tips and tricks available in social media about video marketing. You will probably find a lot of videos about Video Marketing on YouTube. You can also search Video Marketing on Google for extensive resources about the subject.
You should keep in mind that if the video content is not optimised for search keywords, it will miss out in organic search. For successful Video Marketing, the Video content should have a title that includes relevant keywords just like an article title would in a blog. Ensure the title and the body is relevant to the content.

Make the Best Use of Ads

Create ads targeting each category of users based on various criteria relevant to the content. If an ad is created on Facebook, one can track the no. of users and target users by interest and location.
Similarly, creating ads in various social platforms, will give an idea on which platform the video content is getting the most engagement.

Benefits

  1. Statistics shows that 74% of users who watch a video marketing Ad of a product go ahead to purchase the product
  2. Video marketing gives the best Return of Investment
  3. Video marketing engage and ignite the emotions of users
  4. Since YouTube is part of Google, video content is 53 times more possible to show up in Google search.
  5. YouTube statistics shows that users watching videos on mobile increases 100% every year
  6. It is always possible to explain everything in video marketing
Nokia X6 Specs and Price in Nigeria

HMD Global has made good on the much anticipated X-series which as expected comes with the iPhone X-esque type of notch. There are also mid-range features like a nice glass build, fairly powerful SoC and quite a number of other things. This is the first of Nokia’s smartphone to come with a notch and also as AI capabilities like in their flagships. Needless to say the Nokia X6 is very much the typical top end mid-range smartphone with all the latest design flare.

Nokia X6 Key Specs and Features
5.8-inch, IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1080 X 2280 pixels (435 ppi)
Octa-core Qualcomm SDM636 Snapdragon 636 CPU with 4GV/6GB RAM
32GB/64GB built-in storage, up to 128GB with a memory card
Dual 16MP + 5MP camera and 16MP front camera
4G LTE
Fingerprint sensor (rear)
3, 060mAh non removable Li-ion battery

Nokia X6 Specs and Price in Nigeria

Design and Display

You can not but admire the shiny chassis of the Nokia X6 with its nice glass finish enveloping the metallic frame. Moreso, there is the obvious notch on the top of the display which is smaller to what the iPhone X has. That aside, the smartphone also has the 19:9 aspect ratio with way slimmer bezels which means there’s a considerably high screen to body ratio. Both of the dual cameras are arranged towards the middle with both the flash and fingerprint reader below it.

Viewing on the smartphone is on a crisp LCD screen with a fairly large size too. It appears quite colourful with vibrant images with nice contrast suitable for watching movies as well as general viewing. Armed with 2280 X 1080 pixels stretched over a 5.8-inch screen, you are sure to have a finer detailed view on your device.

Battery and Camera

Even though the battery featured here can not be tagged as large, it is ideal for a mid range smartphone. Going for the statutory ’till the end of the day usage’ is very much feasible depending on how intensive it is. Furthermore, the 3, 060mAh battery charges through a USB Type-C port with quick charge technology in place.

Camera quality appears decent enough with a dual combo on the rear and a a fairly attractive selfie snapper too. The main camera is a 16MP at the back with a secondary 5MP camera which according to usual optics is for more details on the background.. You should be able to take clear selfies from the 16MP camera at the front.

Hardware and Software

Going for a more derf Qualcomm chipset, the Nokia X6 is definitely going to deliver a smooth performance with a corresponding power conserving ability. Running a Qualcomm SDM636 Snapdragon 636 with eight cores with clock speed of 1.8GHz and an Adreno 509 GPU to go with.

Part of the hardware also includes a 4GB RAM as well as another 6GB variant which comes with 64GB of built-in storage space while the former has 32GB. For more space, the Nokia X6 supports expansion up to 256GB using a memory card. You can add this smartphone to the list of devices running the latest Android 8.1 Oreo.

Pricing and Availability

The smartphone is not available for sale yet but the stipulated price is about 160, 000 naira depending on your location and the deal.

Nokia X6 Specs

Here are a few specs of the Nokia X6:

General Features

  • Platform: Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm SDM636 Snapdragon 636
  • GPU: Adreno 509
  • Memory: 4GB/6GB
  • Colours: Black, Blue, White
  • Dimension: 147.2 x 71 x 8mm
  • Weight: 153g
  • SIM Type: Nano sim
  • SIM Count: Dual sim

Display

  • Display: 5.8-inch, IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1080 X 2280 pixels
  • Screen Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Camera

  • Rear Camera: Dual 16MP + 5MP camera, 1080p Video@30fps
  • Rear Camera Features: Phase detection autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, HDR
  • Front Camera: 16MP camera, 1080p Video@30fps

Storage

  • Built-in Storage: 32GB/64GB
  • Memory Card Support: Yes, up to 256GB
  • Bundled Cloud Storage: –

Network Support

  • 2G GSM: Yes
  • 2G CDMA 1X: –
  • 3G WCDMA: Yes
  • 3G CDMA EVDO: –
  • 4G LTE: Yes

Internet & Connectivity

  • GPRS: Yes
  • EDGE: Yes
  • 3G/WCDMA/HSPA: Yes
  • HSPA+: 42.2/5.76Mbps
  • CDMA EVDO: –
  • 4G LTE: LTE Cat 4 150/50Mbps
  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct,
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Yes, v5.0 with A2DP, LE
  • NFC: –
  • Infrared Blaster: –
  • USB Port: USB Type-C 2.0

Messaging

  • SMS/MMS: Yes
  • Instant Messaging: Yes
  • Push Emails: Yes
  • Email Protocol: –

Entertainment

  • Music Player: MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FLAC player
  • Video Player: MP4/H.264 player
  • FM Radio: Yes
  • Loudspeaker: Yes
  • 3.5mm Jack: Yes

Navigation

  • Navigation: Yee, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • Maps: Yes

Sensors & Control

  • Digital Compass: Yee
  • Accelerometer: Yes
  • Proximity Sensor: Yes
  • Light Sensor: Yes
  • Barometer: –
  • SpO2: –
  • Pedometer: –
  • Heart Rate Monitor: –
  • Gyroscope: Yes
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, (rear)
  • Iris Scanner: –
  • Face Unlock: Yes
  • Intelligent Digital Assistant: –
  • Motion Sensing / Gesture Control: –
  • Voice Control: –

Other Features

  • Video Streaming: Yes
  • Active Noise Cancellation: Yes
  • Wireless Charging: –
  • Built-in Mobile Payment: –
  • Water Resistant: –
  • Dust Resistant: –
  • Image Editor: Yes
  • Video Editor: Yes
  • Document Viewer: Yes
  • Document Editor: Yes

Battery

  • Battery: 3, 060mAh non removable Li-ion battery
  • Talktime: –
  • Standby Time: –
  • Fast Charging: Yes
Nicki Minaj Performs “Chun-Li” & “Poke It Out” On “Saturday Night Live” [Watch]

Nicki reprises her role as musical guest on “SNL.”

The latest iteration of Saturday Night Live marked the show’s Season 43 finale and marked the return of actress and writer Tina Fey to Studio 8H as Nicki Minaj returned to grace the stage for a third time as the sketch show’s musical guest.

Prior to her appearance on the show, Nicki assured fans that although she would no longer be on the bill for the Billboard Music Awards because she was missing her rehearsal slot the day before the ceremonies, her performance on SNL would be “very worth it.”

“I’ll perform a song you never heard b4,” she added. “My fave on the album. plus my second song. You can prob guess what that’s gonna be.”

She would soon walk back that promise of a new song, but nonetheless maintained that she would still deliver on a venerable performance. As promised, Nicki delivered two tracks with the first, of course, being a live rendition of her “Chun-Li” single as she let loose on a traditionally eastern set in ode to the Chinese origins of the Street Fighter character Chun-Li from which the track found inspiration.

Her second appearance onstage though featured a special surprise guest in Playboi Carti as the duo let it rip on Carti’s “Poke It Out” track to be found on his latest Die Lit album. Toward the end of their rendition though, Nicki hilariously raps “Don’t be all up on me like that,” to the beat in response to Playboi’s routinely rambunctious energy onstage before instructing the 21-year old to “stand right there” as she gives him a dance onstage.

Catch the full performances down below.



FA Cup final: Scholes blasts Mourinho for not replacing Sanchez in United defeat to Chelsea

Former Manchester United midfielder, Paul Scholes has criticized manager, Jose Mourinho’s decision to keep forward, Alexis Sanchez on the pitch for the entirety of the Red Devils’ FA Cup final 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Saturday evening at Wembley.

Eden Hazard’s first-half penalty was enough as the Blues defeated United to win their only silverware of this season.

Scholes was not happy with Mourinho’s decision of substituting forwards, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard at the time the pair were starting to influence the game.


The ex-midfield maestro, however, said instead of substituting Rashford and Lingard, Mourinho should have substituted Sanchez, who could not penetrate Chelsea’s rigid defense.

“Jose’s substitutes, he brought Rashford and Lingard off as they were starting to influence the game,” Scholes told BT Sport.

“Jesse was getting in spaces, between the midfield and back four. Rashford then had a great chance, made a great run and all of a sudden they were taken off.

“Sometimes those two local lads are the easy target, how Sanchez stayed on the pitch with them two creating problems as they were I have no idea.

“Sanchez, how many times he gave the ball away was scary really, and he’s a top class player, he’s not really done it for United yet.

“Listen the manager is paid to make big decision, today in terms of substitutes, I don’t think he made the correct ones,” he said.
Liberty Stadium, Ibadan – A Metaphor For The South West!


Were Chief Obafemi Awolowo to wake up from his place of eternal rest and see what has become of the Western Region of Nigeria, one of the places that would make him wail the loudest would be the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan.

He would wonder how a people he left, sophisticated, enlightened and largely educated, with respect for values and a way of life that set them apart from the rest, would destroy one of their greatest legacies on the altar of personal interests, materialism, bad conduct and poor political judgements.

The geographical disfiguration of Western Nigeria in an obscure structural and political arrangement has fragmented rather than united the region and diminished its place and influence within Nigeria.


Awo would be dazed at the catastrophe that has bedeviled the several infrastructures and institutions that his government and those of his immediate successors established and carefully programmed to take the region, and by extension the rest of the country and the Black race, to the pinnacle of global emancipation and development.

That was a common vision shared by some of the great African leaders of the past – Nkrumah, Nyerere, Lumumba, and even our own Azikiwe, and Ahmadu Bello. They all had a common cause but nursed different paths to achieve it.

In Western Nigeria where he was Premier, Chief Awolowo set a pace of development that left the rest on the continent for dead.

The Liberty Stadium, Ibadan, is a unique sporting complex that encapsulated the vision of the political leader described by late Odimegwu Ojukwu, as ‘the greatest President Nigeria never had’.

When I arrived Ibadan in 1971, Liberty stadium, built around the celebration of Nigeria’s Independence in 1960 by the government of Western Nigeria under Chief Awolowo, was still ‘alive’ and actively fulfilling the objectives of its founder as the centre of sports engagement, activity and development in West Africa’s largest city.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo, even in the 1950s had understood the immense power of sport in national development.

Apart from the State-of-the-art sports facilities that he put in place, he also developed the human capacity to manage and maintain the facilities, and introduced programmes and events that drove the entire sports agenda.

That’s why in 1963, his government actively partnered with other stakeholders to host the first World boxing title fight in Nigeria inside the Liberty Stadium, between Nigeria’s Dick Tiger and America’s Gene Fulmer, in what was planned to test and to showcase Western Nigeria’s emergence as an authentic technological, social, cultural and economic regional power.

That fight was transmitted to the whole world from the stadium through Africa’s first Television Station established also in Ibadan, a rare feat in those days when several European countries were themselves new to television.

Ibadan welcomed the whole army of agents, managers, the media and the world’s boxing travelling fans who, in their hundreds, followed the train of the best boxing fights around the world.

Liberty Stadium, Ibadan – A Metaphor For The South West!

For months before and after that fight Western Nigeria was the focus of the world’s major media. It was unprecedented advertisement for one of the fastest and most ambitious developing regions in the whole of West Africa. Surely, the region was on a trajectory that would have made it a global superpower within a few decades were it to have sustained that momentum.

In 1971, I still met the structures, facilities, and personnel running the sports agenda of Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his immediate successors. It was a visionary script for the development of Western Nigeria with sports as a major contributor.

The product was to become a model for emulation by other parts of the country, and a launch pad for Awolowo’s political ambition to lead the rest of the country.

The North, Mid-West and the Eastern parts of Nigeria joined in a healthy race to catch up with the West, leading to an unwritten competition each region harnessing its best resources to develop its environment, with the West obviously setting the fastest pace.

Liberty Stadium was a great showpiece; its architecture was unique; some of its facilities were world class; its maintenance regimen was a delight to watch and became a local tourist attraction for visitors; its sports facilities engaged the teeming youths from schools and sports clubs, and produced national champions in many sports.

The stadium was well ahead of its time in the facilities within it.

When it was taken over by the Federal Government for renovation for the proposed 1995 FIFA World Youth championship, the engineers in an Israeli firm that was contracted to do the job because they ostensibly had the latest technology in the world, lamented to us that what they met on ground in the Liberty Stadium was far ahead of whatever they had brought to ‘improve’ the stadium.

They admitted that the drainage system underneath the stadium pitch was better than the untested ‘Cell’ underground watering system they had brought and wondered why Nigerian sports administrators in charge were insisting they should go ahead with the excavation and demolition of said drainage system when they advised against it.

In ‘renovating’ the stadium, the Israelis completely destroyed it. Since that ill-informed deliberate destructive act, the Stadium has remained prostate, its painted walls a shell and a constant and painful reminder of what was once one of the best in the world!

The stadium was a ‘Mecca’. People came on excursions for a tour of the facilities. They would wait and watch the well-choreographed watering system of the turf that took place three times every day throughout the year.

Hundreds, probably thousands, of spectators came daily to watch the training sessions of star athletes on the facilities – the great Shooting Stars FC on the lush green football training field, track and field, cricket, volleyball, badminton, basketball and table tennis athletes many of whom were representing Nigeria at the time.

The youths from all over the State came in droves, mornings and evenings, to ‘drink’ lavishly and freely from the well of inspiration of the known star athletes training daily at the stadium.

The stadium had excellent functional floodlights. Many of the international matches Shooting Stars played at the time, mostly against football clubs from Germany, England and even Brazil, were played at night.

My own first international match, was against Central African Republic during preparations for the First National Sports festival in 1973. It was played under floodlights inside the Liberty stadium.

There was a stand by generator that hardly ever was put on because electricity to the facility was a priority. Although there was regular water supply to the complex, it still had a reservoir of its own that could easily service a whole segment of Ibadan.

The stadium hostel for athletes was like a 2-star hotel.

Liberty Stadium Ibadan is today a shadow of its old self, a sad reminder of a once glorious Western Nigeria.

The South West has taken its eyes off its greatest responsibility – to drive the evolution of an authentic global Black civilization using the region as theatre.

Old Western Nigeria is groaning under the affliction of poor political judgments. A mono-cultural and monolithic region has been fragmented by physical arrangements making it lose it’s focus of a dream to lead by example by building a strong and competitive economic, cultural, technologically advanced and industrial environment and be a major player in the world.

As 2019 approaches and leaders are about to be elected, the spirit of Obafemi Awolowo, encapsulated in the Liberty Stadium complex, Ibadan, waits patiently, reminding all about how important it is to choose new leaders from amongst them that can get back on the tracks of the founding political fathers of the old, old West and rebuild the entire South West!