Lagos, Sept. 10, 2021 (NAN) Nigeria’s Pillar of Sports High Chief Donatus Ejidike has canvassed the harmonisation of the splinter supporters clubs to foster unity and project the sports industry as one indivisible body in the country.
Ejidike made the call when he was conferred with the honour of National Patron by the Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC) on Thursday at its National Secretariat, Surulere in Lagos.
“We are all Nigerians with a common love for sports. As fans, there is a need to forge a common ground in unity and love to support our various teams both at home and abroad,’’ he said.
He assured the club and the entire sports industry of his avowed dedication to take sports in Nigeria to the next level.
The Anambra-born Pillar of Sports spoke glowingly of the National Chairman of NFSC, Rev. Samuel Ikpea, describing him as an unrepentant patriot and sports lover.
“My aspiration as the Pillar of Sports is to play a critical role in shaping sports policies and push for model sports structures in our leagues, administration and leadership at all levels so that our country’s name will be synonymous with sports in the world.
“Even though I strongly believe in grassroots sports development, the role of supporters clubs cannot be overemphasised.
“Supporters club are never defeated, never weary, never lose hope; supporters are great motivators and supporters are a great factor to reckon in sports promotion, and therefore, are very important,’’ he said, thanking the leadership of NFSC for the honour.
In the last decade, Chief Ejidike has single-handedly sponsored over 50 sports competitions, including Football, Badminton, Volleyball, Gymnastic, Boxing and many other lesser sports that hardly attract attention.
He has on many occasions sponsored Kwara State University Medical Students Games and various age categories of YSFON Games.
Conferring the honour on Ejidike, Ikpea restated his commitment to the Nigeria sports project and said he would not relent in his dogged activities and interest to promote sports.
He added that the investiture of the Pillar of Sports as NFSC National Patron was not as a result of hypocrisy but because he deserved it.
“We don’t just give patrons to anybody in this club because we are seeking relevance or patronage, you must merit it in all facets of our considerations.
“We have been following the activities of High Chief Ejidike as a grassroots sports promoter and a philanthropist. Your love and desire to promote sports in Nigeria is not in doubt.
“Your patriotism and interest in the promotion of sports has spoken volume in the public domain, and especially in the sports arena.
“On this note, I as the chairman of the foremost Nigeria football supporters club, by the power conferred on me and my entire members are glad to confer you with the office of a National Patron of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club,’’ Ikpea said.
He said the club members were glad to have Ejidike in their midst and count on his goodwill, integrity and philanthropism.