Address of the BOT Chairman of the Stephen Keshi Football and Vocational Centre (SKFVTC) during the Courtesy Visit to His Royal Highness, Prince Edun Akenzua, MFR, FNGE, The Enogie Of Obazuwa

We thank your Royal Highness for the opportunity to pay this courtesy visit, which we intend to make a festive and an annual event as a way of coming to see our Father as custom demands. Please, permit me your Royal Highness, to state that the President of the Players’ Union, the Professional Football Association of Nigeria, (PFAN), who is also the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Comrade Tijani Babangida, MON is at this time attending to another engagement at Abuja. He however, sent his good wishes to Your Royal Highness and the good people of Obazuwa. Our journey to Obazuwa started with a letter from the National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers (NANPF) to your Royal Highness in 2016, requesting a land space for the Stephen Keshi Football And Vocational Training Centre (SKFVTC). Characteristic of your Royal Highness, the response was swift, reassuring and your Royal Highness, in his response in the letter of 25 July 2016, promised that your Royal Highness would positively look into the request. Graciously, by Friday, 23 September 2016, the NANPF, the NFF were fully represented at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Sports and Vocational Training Centre, which covers a sprawling expanse of land measuring 1, 000ft x 1,000ft. Of special mention is that your Royal Highness made a pronouncement that the land was a gift (except to compensate owners of any cash crops on the land) to the NANPF, and in honor of Late Stephen Keshi. For this gesture, the players’ union are eternally grateful.

2. We were not surprised at the gesture because, as a sportsman who showcased his Goalkeeping skills in the elementary and secondary school days, Your Royal Highness has never stopped supporting sports and anything that would bring development to the good people of Obazuwa.

3. In Your Royal Highness’s speech on the gift of the parcel of land to the NANPF, you were consistent in using ‘my people and me,’ which is very rare among higher mortals of our days. This is a critical attribute of great leaders missing among so many leaders of today.

4. Your Royal Highness, we sincerely apologize that the Mecca-like sporting pilgrimages to Obazuwa have not commenced. We apologize that we have not moved fast enough. This was not intended. There have been challenges, which we thought we could surmount before the infrastructural development. One of such is securing worthy partners, sponsors, and credible individuals that would invest in the projects, including Banks. Everywhere we turned, they confronted us with the need to show the proof of NANPF’s ownership, which in this country the Certificate of Occupancy or the Deed of assignment. It is a case of the Community is enthusiastically and optimistically waiting for a super tourism attraction, many of our partners cannot smell the rose are like Thomas Didymus, waiting for a sign and the evidence that the land belongs to NANPF. So we have been caught in this web, which we are almost surmounting.

5. It was based on the above we parleyed with the State Government that graciously agreed to partake in the funds’ raising activities. The first attempt was in 2017. Unfortunately, it was a sad day in which the state lost one of its illustrious sons. All other attempts at fundraising have been stalled for one reason or the other. The COVID-19 Pandemic hindered that of 2020.

6. Importantly, it is typically said that a house divided against itself can never stand. That was also a challenge and another constraint, which we faced as an Association. We had our internal strife over a long period of time. That did not make us leverage on the strength that we have as a pressure group. Thankfully, the good news is that we have put our differences behind us, and now one strong indivisible body known as the Professional Football Association of Nigeria (PFAN). The process of legally perfecting the union is ongoing.

7. Though it might seem that no development has taken place, kindly permit me your Royal Highness, to state that the Obazuwa community and the SKFVTC project are already being read, watched and talked about all over the world. The website is

8. During the just-concluded Stephen Keshi under 17 tournament, the BOT resolved that we have a date with history in 2021. To that end, we shall commence the clearing of the site next week with two SKFVTC signage. One will be installed at the major road, and the bigger one will be at the main site. This is preparatory to hosting the 4th Stephen Keshi under 17 Tournament at Obazuwa, which shall become an annual event.

9. Your Royal Highness, BOT members here present, Distinguished Gentlemen of the Fourth Estate, there is the need to reinstate that the layout of the SKFVTC includes three football pitches. One of the pitches would be a standard pitch complete with a covered gallery type stand, while the other two are training pitches. There are two workshops, two hostels, staff quarters, a three-block building containing six classrooms each, an Auditorium(containing a mini health clinic), a guesthouse, swimming pool, a 200 car park slots, and lastly a 300ft x 1000ft stretch of the plot for future development

Your Royal Highness, we are committed to our promise that come 2021, the land gifted to NANPF, which has now transformed to the PFAN in honor of Stephen Keshi, shall begin its transformation towards attracting the world to Obazuwa.

BOT members, Gentlemen of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, please join me in wishing His Royal Highness, Prince Edun Akenzua, MFR, FNGE, the Enogie of Obazuwa compliments of the season while we together chorus, Enogie Ghato Kpere! Ise!


Dr. Ogbeifun Louis Brown, FICMC, MTI & CEDR Accredited Mediator, ACIarb, MNIM, ACIPM