MINUTES OF THE MAIDEN MEETING OF EDO SPORTS FAMILY HELD ON NOVEMBER 1, 2018 AT ADNA HOTEL, GRA, IKEJA, LAGOS
The meeting started at about 2:33pm with the opening prayer said by Mr. Mike Maiyaki Isesele.
Convener of the gathering, Mr. Godwin Enakhena, thanked Mr. Ehi Braimah, who provided the venue for the meeting for free and also entertained members in attendance. Mr Enakhena reported the apologies from Dr Larry Izamoje, Edo Sports Commission Chairman, Barr. Godwin Dudu-Orumen, Nigeria Women’s League Chairman, Aisha Falode, Edo Football Association Chairman who doubles as Chairman Owan West Local Government Area, Frank Ilaboya, President Badminton Federation, Barr Frank Orbih, Mr Ade Ojeikere, Dr Ebhojiaye, Mr Aronegbe Osayinmwen, Barr Godfrey Agbebaku, Osaretin Emuze, Dr Eguaoje, Dr Emmanuel Igbinosa, Dr Patrick Uwagbale, Hon Patrick Obahiagbon, Dr Robinson Okosun, among others for being unavoidably absent.
He appealed for the body’s support for the Edo Sports Commission Chairman in the task of restoring Edo State to its past days of sports glory.
Barr Ben Ijewere spoke next and said that sports in Edo State derailed when the ministry of sports was filled with people that had no business there were put in charge as political compensation. He also harped on the need to immediately resuscitate school sports in the state. Facilities, he emphasised, are practically non-existent in Edo Schools and stadia at the moment. ESF, he opined must stand up to be counted in the re-definition of sports in the state.
Smarts Ebhodaghe spoke in the same vein like Mr. Ijewere but insisted that if schools sports must be revitalized, it must start at the primary school level up to the tertiary stage. He said sports and academic education must be tied together for the future benefit of the young ones.
Using the Fanny Amun versus Aloysius Atuegbu scenario, he stressed that sports must always be married with education as the likes of Segun Odegbami and Adokie Amasiemaka have demonstrated with their relevance in the national sports community and even beyond.
Duro Ikhazuagbe, was particularly livid with the decaying facilities issue in our state, recalling that in the years of yore sports facilities were readily available in schools for use by the students. He called for the return to boarding schools and a strong bond between the Sports Commission and the Ministry of Education to achieve the set goals of returning Edo State to the pinnacle of sports in Nigeria.
Coach Godwin Obinyan, apart from also speaking on the poor state of facilities, called for the engagement of ex sports men and women as Games Masters in schools across the states, for the purpose of raising young athletes that can later compete at higher level and win laurels for the state.
Patrick Omorodion spoke about the Dr Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia’s legacy and noted that the body should dust up his books for reference purposes. He said in his interaction with the late former Governor and sports administration, he learnt that apart from Dr Ogbemudia’s passion for sports, he was also a trained coach. He appealed that members must be ready and determined to make sacrifices in our desire to achieve set objectives.
Ehi Braimah, apart from re-emphasising the revival of school sports, talent management and facilities upgrade, also said the body must reach out to Edo indigenes in Corporate Nigeria and the diaspora to embrace and support the Edo State Sports Commission.
He suggested the setting up of a Sports Development Trust Fund by the body, with respected Edo indigenes put in charge of managing the funds accruing to the purse. International partnership, he noted, is also possible with countries like China etc, ready to build sports facilities across the state.
Members were in agreement with the Sports Development Trust Fund suggestion which, should start from within, for the purpose of raising the seed money for the group’s operations. To set the stage for the group’s activities, the house resolved that it has to be registered as a legal entity, and Barr Ben Ijewere was tasked with starting the registration process and report back as soon as possible.
Ohimai Unuigboje spoke of plans by Edo State Government, through the Sports Commission to establish liaison offices across all the local government areas of the state. He revealed that with weeks to the 2018 National Sports Festival, the Sports Commission is leaving no stone unturned to ensure a good outing in Abuja. He was confident the Government will make available needed funds for the games.
In his remarks, Ben Alaiya said his views have been encapsulated by the huge human resource available and what we needed was to follow up with action.
Osaretin Ekhator, also offered a hand of fellowship in the chase for Corporate Nigeria partnership, but noted that accountability is key if Corporate Nigeria must be dragged in. He was happy that the Sports Commission shares the ESF ideas and opined that both will work together for the good of Edo State Sports.
In conclusion, Mr Enakhena drew members attention to the purported concession/sale of Afuze Games Village by the Ministry of Sports.
He revealed that some highly placed people within and outside Edo State are of the very strong opinion that Afuze Games Village has outlived its usefulness and that effort should be geared towards having sports facilities scattered all over the state. Although he does not share this view, he however agreed that sports facilities should be built in different zones in the state while moves backed politically should be intensified at reclaiming the Afuze Games Village.
Mr Enakhena also canvassed for a close working relationship between Barr Godwin Dudu Orumen led Edo Sports Commission and Edo Sports Family to achieve set goals, adding that he has no doubt ESF will give its total support to the Sports Commission at all times.
The meeting was adjourned till a later date in Benin City. Ehi Braimah thanked everyone for coming and prayed at about 4.00 pm for the high spirit of commencement to be sustained for the advancement of the group. Members then went for lunch in the hotel at the expense of the host.
Minutes were recorded by Ben Alaiya.
Group photographs to commemorate the inaugural meeting followed to close the epoch making event.
Twelve members attended the maiden meeting:
1. Smarts Ebhodaghe
2. Mike Maiyaki Isesele
3. Coach Godwin Obinyan
4. Prince Kelvin Erhunwmunse
5. Mr. Ehi Braimah
6. Ben Ijewere
7. Ohimai Unuigboje
8. Godwin Enakhena
9. Patrick Omorodion
10. Ben Alaiya
11. Duro Ikhazuagbe
12. Ekhator Osaretin