Rev. Samuel Ikpea, the National Chairman of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club will today February 6 mark his birthday. The gentle and easy-going NFSC Boss has made huge and significant impact towards the development of Nigerian Football through the association which he volunteered to serve the nation in. As he marks his birthday today, we look at the life of a man who has given about three decades of his life to volunteering service for the development of the nation’s football.
CALL TO NFSC
Samuel Ikpea a Lagos-based business man joined the NFSC in 1991. He served in several committees, and became the club's 2nd Assistant National Secretary in 2000. His commitment, hard-work and consistency with the activities of the NFSC earned him the position of becoming the chief scribe in 2004 when he was officially elected as National Secretary of the club. By this position, he was in charge of all correspondences from the registered states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In 2008, the association seeing the much he had achieved while serving as National Secretary felt it was time for him to serve the association in a higher capacity. He was elected as the Secretary-General of the association and by this new position; Ikpea was in charge of correspondences of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club at the global level. His election into this position also made it impossible for Ikpea to run for a second term as National Secretary. Those who supported him to become the Secretary-General were strongly convinced that there was no need keeping him to run for a second tenure as National Secretary, when he could give more globally.
On December 10, 2016 Sam Ikpea's commitment and administrative prowess took him to another level in the club. After serving in the capacity of the Secretary-General for two terms, he was officially elected as the National Chairman of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club inside the popular Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos. For those who had high expectations from the club, his election as National Chairman was a dream come true, going by what he had delivered in the past.
His election as National Chairman was also witnessed by distinguished Nigerian from the Sports sector who came as observers. Notable amongst those who were present were Dr. Amos Adamu, the late Taiwo Ogunjobi, Alh. Aminu Maigari, Chief Darlington Momoh, Bolaji Ojo Oba and host of others.
Achievements as NFSC Boss
Upon assumption of office as National Chairman of the association, Rev. Samuel identified the need to further increase and strengthen the association, and that led to the launching of the northern chapters, with Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Nasarrawa, Yobe, Katsina all coming into existence under his tenure.
To ensure that accurate data is kept, after the enlargement of the association to the Northern states, the NFSC under Sam Ikpea also launched her official website with data of all members stored on it, while a facebook page and nfsctv YouTube was also created to complement the social media functions of the web under him.
His value for the preservation of human life was held in high esteem, after he identified that some negatively adventurous Nigerians attempt to seek greener pastures outside the country through illegal and dangerous ways. And this led to his administration initiating the “Red Card to death on the meditteran and Sahara desert”. The idea was aimed at discouraging Nigerians who nurse the ambition of leaving the country through illegal means which in most cases with leads to death to stop. He achieved this through partnering with the Nigerian Immigration Service, Naptip and other relevant agencies.
Under his administration, the NFSC further partnered and strengthened bond with The Consulate General of the Brazilian embassy in Nigeria, a country noted for football and also rated as Grade A in the World. This also opened door for Nigeria to take part in the Neymar 5-aside football competition which took place in Brazil. Later on when Nigeria was going to play Brazil in an international friendly, the consular invited Sam Ikpea and a team of other stake holders in football to come watch the match live at the Brazilian Embassy in Lagos.
Ikpea being a seasoned administrator has been at the forefront of clamouring for good administration in the development of football and other sports generally. He has given several published interviews in newspapers, sports websites, televisions and radio programmes, where he criticized the manner which our football and sports is been administered in Nigeria.
Ikpea is aspiring to help put a developmental structure in place that will nurture and support the massive and rapid development of football in Nigeria. He strongly believes that if the right approach is given to the age-grade teams, they will become a world-class team that will translate into a national side that will make Nigeria a force to reckon with as far as football at the global stage is concerned.
Also, he is aspiring that someday our football and sports administrators will lead for the purpose of the development of the game, and not necessarily to enrich themselves. His call for transparency at the various sports federations is no doubt a clarion call which he believes will help put Nigeria Sports on the right path.
It will be extremely difficult for a leader of this caliber to exist without facing challenges. But most importantly, Ikpea’s-led administration faced the tough test when some bad elements within the NFSC started parading themselves as a faction of NFSC.
That issue caused lots of furor both internally and in the media, with several concerned persons trying to know how the seasoned administrator could manage it. However, investigations revealed that some of those agitations were the handiwork of some members of the NFF, who felt they needed to control the NFSC under Ikpea’s reign.
As fate would have it, Ikpea was cleared of all false allegations leveled by those factions, and they were left with no other option to break away and form a different supporters club after understudying the Ikpea-led administration.
Aside strong commitment with the NFSC Ikpea is heavily linked with several other youth development organizations such as
AWARDS AND SPECIAL RECONGNITIONS
A man who has accomplished this much will naturally attract lots of attention and special recognitions. Notable among the various awards and recognitions which he has received are as follows:
Rev. Sam Ikpea is a Christian, a Pastor and an Assistant General Overseer at the Assembly of Faithful Church Worldwide. He is married to Mrs Ikpea and a father of many children.
He is the founder and CEO of Samdebb Global Concept Ltd, Greatdynamics talent Consolidated flows travels services.