Benue FA stages first ever football stakeholders’ summit, as Governor’s Cup returns 

Benue FA stages first ever football stakeholders’ summit, as Governor’s Cup returns 

History was made at the weekend in Makurdi when the new Benue State Football Association (BSFA), led by Barr. Paul Edeh staged first ever stakeholders’ summit.

The summit which held 49 days after the current BSFA came on board, witnessed the enlarged gathering of who is who in state’s football fraternity.

Those who attended the symposium included coaches, referees, ex-internationals, club representatives, football administrators, sports journalists among others drawn from the 23 local government areas of the state.

The stakeholders speaking one after the other, took turns to bare their minds on critical issues of importance, amidst outpour of encomiums on the steps taken so far to show direction by the Benue FA board in less than two months.

Before then, BSFA Chairman, Barr. Paul Edeh, while recalling the various positive moves by his board, emphasized the need for peace and unity of purpose among the stakeholders.

He said, “When we came on board, precisely 49 days ago, we took initiative on how to move football forward in order to rekindle the good old days when the various ex-internationals, some of whom are gathered here made us proud.

“I personally believe that there’s no how we will make headway in developing football in the state without listening to those who had played football, coached, coaching or are doing one thing or the other around football.

“Again, you can’t grow the game when you have a divided house because a house divided against itself can’t stand. We as stakeholders need to put heads together to find ways of developing football in Benue. We don’t need to apply political approach in developing football. We only need to speak and act as one.

“When an Asisat Oshoala, Francisca Ordega or Onome Ebi is playing, no one identifies them based on where they come from… so all we need to do always is to identify the things that unite us rather than distract or disunite us.

He emphatically enjoined Benue stakeholders to desist from “any form of pull him down syndrome, instead join hands to encourage and promote each other.”

Declaring the summit open, the state Director of Sports Comrade Philip Ter Nongu announced that already Governor Hyacinth Alia has approved immediate resuscitation of annual Governor’s Cup.

He also revealed that the state number one man has also directed that work should resume immediately on the pitch of Aper Aku stadium in Makurdi, to enable respective teams in the state, particularly Lobi stars return home and prosecute their matches conveniently.

On the stakeholders’ summit, the sports director said, “In my 16 years as General-Secretary, I didn’t witness where such a summit was organised. So this is very apt and laudable.”

Vice chairman of Lobi stars and ex-international Dominic Iorfa as well as other former footballers – Emmanuel Abah and Abdul Sule, were among others who attended the event.

Iorfa particularly said, “Since my involvement in football in the early 80s, I have never seen football organised in this manner where all stakeholders are gathered to discuss issues.”

National President, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Mr. Isaiah Benjamin, while acknowledging the efforts and exploits of the incumbent FA board, solicited for support to trigger more successes in the state.

He assured that the sporting media will continuously support in adequate publicity of its programmes and activities.

Chairmen of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association and Nigeria Referees Council in Benue state, Mr. Eugene Agabe and Mr. Gbilekaa Anthony, as well as other stakeholders hailed the developmental strides and timely actions of BSFA.