U-23 Eagles: Segun Oduduwa’s career-threatening injury

By Daily Sports on May 29, 2017

I don’t know about you. As for me, the suffering of one soul whether Nigerian or not gives me goose pimples. In short, it bleeds my heart as a creature of God. But in recent times, Nigerians especially the money bags have lost their sense of human kindness. Honestly speaking, this is not the kind of country I was born into; and by extension the Sports Journalism I met and trained in. Things drastically went wrong. I have often asked, but to nobody in particular, why things have gone this bad. Sadly, everyone is on their own. These well placed individuals used to be their brothers’ keepers.

There was stronger bond during the period of the late MKO Abiola, who bestrode the landscape of this once upon a time great nation like a colossus. His philanthropy knew no tribe. He was his brother’s keeper. He was a true Nigerian to the core. He demonstrated factual statesmanship like the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who cared less about what his immediate kits and kin - the Igbo nation would benefit.

Zik as he was fondly called opted for a pan Nigeria and Africa. Today, he is turning in his grave watching in utter disbelief, how Buhari led APC government balkanised Nigeria and alienated his Igbo nation totally from the scheme of things in a supposedly Zik’s cherished One Nigeria, which is now a pure mirage, day dream and dominated by one particular part of the country. It may also interest our dear Zik to hear that shamefully, his kinsman of the infamous Okija evil forest, fake ex-Governor, Chris Ngige is clapping for Buhari on his equally devilish policies on the Igbo nation. Sir, the Biafra cause you never supported is gaining momentum across the globe. Trust, Ngige is really getting a raw deal from true sympathisers of Ndigbo on his short sighted comment on Buhari against Ndigbo. We are still at a loss where his refuge is. Though, unconfirmed reports have it that he will relocate to Kastina State at the end of the day. That is when the chips are down. I digress.

MKO was the Pillar of Sports in Africa. He has not been replaced many years after his demise. He was true to type, an Iroko tree. He paid many bills of distressed and injured players across Africa and even offset bills of many African countries’ Football Federations including then NFA. The many humanitarian calls from Nigerians in all spheres that have been begging for the attention of cavernous pocket people masquerading as philanthropists make me remember MKO and his deeply dripping charity works. He was killed for no just cause while chasing political power. Today, there is a great and everlasting void. Nobody has the big heart to step into his large shoes; yet they declaim themselves multi-billionaires’.  I digress.

NFF has this known history or if you like track record of abandoning players that crop injury while on national duty. The list is long; just ask Emmanuel Amuneke, Celestine Babayaro, Dosu Joseph etc.

Now it is the unfortunate turn of U-23 Eagles Rio Olympic 2014 team star, Segun Oduduwa who has cried out that he may not play football again after he has been abandoned following surgery for a major knee injury. ‘Abandoned Olympic team star, Segun Oduduwa fears he may not play again’, was the headline story by Daily Sports.

I became more terrified and troubled on May 19, when Daily Sports broke the news to her numerous readers. My day got spoilt till date. Let me confess that since then, I had put calls across to those concerned and others drawing their attention to the plight of Citizen Segun Oduduwa’s career threatening injury. I got assurances but, I don’t know if the player that was on national assignment has been reached. These same people I contacted never pick my calls again. I’m not surprised because here is a country, full of irony. You are hailed to high heavens when you are doing it their way and once it is the other way round, you automatically become a villain. My major concern is that Oduduwa must not be allowed to hang his boots prematurely. This is his story as told by him. Read a heart rendering Segun Oduduwa.

Oduduwa, who was injured in training with Rio Olympics 2014-bound team in May, needs a second surgery after he was first operated in Qatar.

He was in Qatar for six months after which he was sent packing following the non-payment of his medical bills and the expiration of his visa.

His bills were to have been footed by the sports ministry.

“My career is at stake. The doctors told me I must do a corrective surgery for me to be able to walk again and play football,” Oduduwa told Sporting Life.

His Olympic team coach, Samson Siasia will spearhead an appeal to save the career of the highly promising central defender, who helped Nigeria win the 2015 U23 AFCON in Senegal, which qualified the country for last year’s Olympics.

“Segun Oduduwa is a big prospect and he has the talent to be Nigeria’s best central defender,” he said.

“I would be glad if the Sports Minister, (Solomon Dalung) and the NFF led by Amaju Pinnick could assist him to go for this corrective surgery.” Agents bribe coaches to invite players to camp.

This is the way NFF and indeed administrators in sports have been treating our players even by extension their coaches. Agents bribing coaches to gain entry for their players would cease at least now the Franco- German trainer Gernot Rohr is in charge.

My ‘Save his Career’ plea has been that Nigerians of depth means should not turn deaf ears to the plight of Citizen Segun Oduduwa; they have to kindly come handy. He must not be stopped by this injury he cropped while on national duty. Sports administrators over these years have ruined the fledgling and flourishing careers of many athletes. Segun Oduduwa should not suffer the same fate. I won’t delve into the nitty-gritty of these over the years’ lapses. Oduduwa and his career must be saved. Discussion continues as usual on Twitter, Face book, WhatsApp. Keep shooting hard, till next week!

Source Daily Sports

Posted May 29, 2017


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