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David Umahi , Pinnick , Chukwuma, Ogba, Baba Ijebu, Five Others Bag NNL Top Award

Ten Nigerians have bagged the topmost and inaugural award of the Nigeria National League, NNL for their various efforts in developing sports and football in particular.

The maiden NNL Football Award took place at the Premium Hall of the Salt Lake Hotel in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State Capital South East Nigeria, with Ebonyi State Governor, His Excellency Engineer David Umahi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Sports, Distinguished Senator Obinna Ogba, Nigeria Football Federation President Amaju Pinnick, leading the pack of AWARDEES in the first ever organized award by the Most Important League in the Country.

Business magnate, revered Sports administrator and former board member of the NFF, Chief Gabriel Chukwuma (Nnayereugo Nnewi), Chairman Premier Lotto (Baba Ijebu) Dr. Chief Kessington Adebutu, who powered the just concluded AGM of the NNL, Football Proprietors Hon. Kunle Soname; you will recall that Bet9ja under the umbrella of his company K. C. Gamings Limited partnered with the NNL between 2016-2018 as title Sponsors of the League, and Bro. Felix Obuah (The Financier of Go- Round Football Club of Omoku, Rivers State).

Others are Football administrators Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau who is NFF Board member,chairman of chairmen and Zamfara State Football Association Chairman, former Nigerian International and chairman of NNL club side, Kogi United, Abdul Sule who is also president of presidents NNL club owners Association (NALCOMA).

NNL Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Adesanya told NNL Media that the essence of the award is to acknowledge those who made and are still making high-impact contributions to the development of sports and football specifically.

 “It is the very best of our beliefs and perhaps that of others, we consider them as major gladiators in shaping sports, as you all know sports is a great employer of labour and majority of the Nigerian youths are engaged in it”

“So we have thought it wise to encourage those who provided and are still providing the enabling environment for things to thrive, in one way or another our selected winners have greatly affected us at the NNL, and clapping for them this way as we have demonstrated today, is our own little way and best gift to appreciate their efforts.”

Mr. Adesanya added that the development in Abakaliki is only a sequence and that more Nigerians, particularly those supporting NNL and the development of this beautiful game (football) in the country will not go unrecognized by the new management team of NNL under the leadership of Distinguished Senator Obinna  Ogba.

He further stated that NNL in the 2020/2021 League season will extend same gesture to match officials who will distinguish themselves in the course of discharging their duties in the new season.

NNL To Hold 2021 Annual General Assembly In Abakiliki

The  Annual General Assembly (AGA) and new season draw of the Nigeria National League (NNL) ,which is the 31st edition, has been scheduled to hold Friday the 15th of January,2021 in the capital City of the Salt of the Nation Abakaliki , Ebonyi State, South – East Nigeria.

As it is customary, the yearly AGA precedes the start of a fresh season, the management of the Most Important League has chosen the Prestigious Salt Lake Hotel in Abakaliki as venue.

NNL’S Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mr. Emmanuel Adesanya who disclosed this to the Media & Communication arm of the League ,said the Ordinary AGA which will afford major stakeholders the chance to deliberate and take decisions on key issues before  commencement of the 2020/2021 season, will have only Presidents of the clubs or their certified representatives in attendance.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) earlier at its last meeting mooted 16th of January, 2021 as kick off date for the NNL, but as it appears the date is not looking feasible.

“The AGA scheduled in Ebonyi will indeed provide us that veritable avenue to chart the way forward, and I can assure that the new  NNL season will not take long to start “ the COO noted.

The COO added that, the Presidents of the NNL Clubs are expected to arrive at Abakaliki on Thursday 14 ahead of the AGA and depart Saturday 16 after the AGA on Friday 15.

The Abakaliki AGA will be the first under current NNL Chairman, Senator Obinna Ogba, the last NNL AGA was held in Enugu in 2019 with late Honourable  Chidi Ofo Okenwa  as Chairman.

The NNL went on break on December 2019 but never returned throughout 2020 due to some unforeseen circumstances, and outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nigeria National League was established in 1972 as the Nigeria League (First League) with six clubs, the name changed to Professional League (Pro- League) on the 12th of May,1990, It metamorphosed into the Nigeria National League (NNL) in 2012 after a Congress held in Kaduna.

NNL Pay Condolence Visit To Senator Ogba.

The Management and Staff of the Nigeria National League, NNL on Wednesday 16th December 2020, paid a visit of condolence to its Chairman, Dist. Senator Obinna Joseph Ogba at his Abuja residence, over the death of his father Chief Ogbaoku Odo (Omeiheufu 1) who just passed on.

Late Pa Ogbaoku quietly slept in the Lord on Thursday 10, December 2020 in his ancestral home, Amanvu  Igboesa  Clan, Ishielu Local Government Area (LGA), Ebonyi State, South East Nigeria, at the ripe old age of 105 years.

Speaking with Senator Ogba, NNL Chief Executive Officer, Barrister Sajo Mohammed, who led the team, extolled the sterling qualities and contributions  of the  late centenarian father of Senator Ogba in the society and for  his family legacies.

Pa Ogba was a community leader and a councilor as a politician with one of the major political parties in Nigeria, the Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) that contested elections during the Nigerian second Republic and in 1979, chose late Nigeria political icon Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, as its Presidential candidate.

Barrister Sajo said “We are here to offer our deepest sympathy and support, on the passing on to glory of your father; it is our wish that our visit and condolences will bring you and your family peace and comfort, during this painful time”

“There is no doubt that your father ran a good race on earth, you (Obinna) is a proud legacy left behind by Daddy (Pa Ogba), his sojourn into politics and contributions to his society and Nigeria is also not in doubt”

Sajo ended by praying that the soul of Late Chief Pa Ogba will find perpetual rest with God.

Responding, Senator Ogba expressed gratitude to the NNL team for their visit to commiserate with him and family and needed prayers in his mourning period.

He uttered special thanks to God for what he called a glorious exit of his loving father from the earth, declaring he will give special thanks and offerings to God by celebrating his cult hero –father.

“Our father had prepared our minds for his demise through his talks and deeds while he was alive but we tried to cope with the reality of his death, he slept peacefully to bide us farewell “

“I will celebrate my father’s death, his parting is glorious and we must thank God for a life well spent, though we are mourning but we should also be grateful to God, Senator Ogba submitted.

According to Senator Ogba the journey to bury his late father will begin from the 26th of March, 2021.

NNL’S Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Adesanya, Head of Finance/Admin Mr. Wale Adeyinka, Admin Secretary Mr. Nicholas Akujobi, amongst others were in the NNL group that paid a visit of condolence to Senator Obinna Ogba, over the death of his father.

NNL To Send Out Stadium Compliance Officers

From Thursday 26 of this month, the Nigeria National League(NNL) has hinted that it will send Stadium Compliance Officers to the designated home grounds of teams participating in the 2021/2020 League season.

This is part of its pre-season activities to herald the fresh season under the new leadership of Senator Obinna Ogba.

The stadium Compliance Officers are to ascertain the level of facilities in the various Stadiums to be used by clubs as stipulated in the NNL Rule book.

According to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Most Important League in Nigeria, Mr. Emmanuel Adesanya, clubs will have no choice than to provide alternative venue for their matches, if their stadium falls short of the required standard.

Mr. Adesanya added that the clubs are to ensure that every logistics for the ease of the inspection exercise are in place.

Subject to Congress ratification the NNL Stakeholders meeting held on the 6th of November, 2020 in Abuja agreed for two conferences in the Northern and Southern regions of the country, for an abridged League format for the 2020-2021 seasons.

And following directives by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the Nigeria National League is expected to kick – off three (3) weeks after the start of the elite class, the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL

Nigeria Football Federation Calls for Harmonization Of Domestic Leagues In The Country

The need for synchronization of the various football Leagues in Nigeria in their areas of operations, programmes and activities has been emphasized.

This was the focal point during a weekend meeting held between organizers of the country’s apex men’s league, the League Management Company (LMC) and its sister League, the next important League, the Nigeria National League, NNL.

The meeting which was intended to be a courtesy visit to the LMC by the new Management team of NNL incidentally had the 1st Vice-President of the Nigeria Football Federation Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi who oversees Football Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation in attendance. Also in attendance were the LMC Chairman and his Team and the newly appointed CEO of NNL, COO and some management staff of NNL.

Barrister Seyi said harmonizing the various leagues is needed to put the domestic football on the right footing, according to him the leagues do not exist in isolation to each other, they play complementary roles.

The wide gulf that exist in the kick- off and closing dates of the Leagues must be closed and the only way to do this is for the leadership of both the LMC and NNL to interface regularly, weigh their calendars, to enable them find a go-between them.

He declared that restructuring the Leagues is key towards achieving better productivity “Nigeria domestic football will amount to nothing if the league bodies are not properly set up to attract prospective sponsors”.

He strongly advocated a gradual cutting down of the number of clubs featuring in the NNL to a more manageable figure, saying the present number of about forty six waters the value of the League.

Barrister Seyi canvassed for a phase plan deduction of the number of participating teams in the NNL. He said NNL should be a traditional League of about twenty team format to bring in quality, attractiveness and competitiveness.

The Chairman of the NNL, Sen. Obinna Ogba through his Chief Executive Officer Barr. Sajo Mohammed canvassed for collaboration in the areas of capacity building/technical support and recognition in all LMC’s future sponsorship/partnership drive.

The Chairman of LMC Shehu Dikko promised improved synergy and collaboration with the NNL

Anniversary Bells

It happened in Bukuru, Jos Plateau State of Nigeria, year 2000. One Emmanuel (God is with us) and Victoria (Conqueror) tied the nuptial knot. It is already two decades and counting, do we give a platinum or what manner of applause, cheers or gifts. To our Brand New Chief Operating Officer(COO) at the Most Important League in Nigeria (NNL) and his Jewel of inestimable value, as they celebrate their 20th Wedding Anniversary today, September 9. Please join me and tender a big Anniversary worthy cheers to Mr.& Mrs. Emmanuel Adesanya on the journey so far. This is wishing a perfect pair a perfect HAPPY DAY. Hope Emmanuel and Victoria will keep finding peace and contentment in each other’s Love. CONGRATULATIONS all over again!

NNL Ask Clubs to Name Home Grounds

Clubs participating for the 2020/2021 season in the Nigeria National League, (NNL) have been requested to submit to the Secretariat of the League body their preferred venues for home matches on or before the 23rd of September, 2020.Such home grounds the NNL asserted must be safe and appropriate and should meet the facility requirements, as stipulated in the NNL rule books. Chief Operating Officer of the Most Important League, Mr. Emmanuel Adesanya said the venue for the competitive league games must be different from training pitches and that both shall be inspected before the commencement of the new season. The stadiums assessment that will follow, is to ascertain compliance and level of readiness to host the NNL 2021 League matches. Speaking further, Mr. Adesanya said clubs are mandated to provide functional Electronic Score board in their home grounds and in the absence of such, a manual Score board with a black background (Minimum size of 8×5 meters) should be in place. Adesanya gave other requirements as :3 A standard Substitution board with a minimum measurement of 14 inches x 10 inches 4. Fortified Perimeter fencing of at least 2 meters in height.5. Functional dressing rooms for teams and match officials. Adesanya warned that the NNL may consider an alternative venue for stadium(s) that fall short of the requirements stipulated above. Meanwhile, the NNL has mandated the clubs to supply official email and other contact details. This is with a view to put an end to sending official correspondences to individuals or unauthorized email accounts. Mr. Emmanuel Adesanya said ”Claims in the past by some clubs that they do not get NNL correspondences will be put to a permanent end, when clubs provide it with official (Authorized) communication channels.” “We at the NNL consider communication a key factor in our attempt to revamp the Most Important League in the country, this matter is urgent and must be treated as such by all clubs” The NNL also said the League will only resume in adherence to the instructions of the Nigeria Football Federation, Federal Ministry of Sports and the Presidential Task-Force regulations on Covid-19 protocols.

NNL Clubs To Provide Certificate Of Incorporation

The Nigeria National League, NNL has directed its clubs to ensure the provision of Certificate of Incorporation from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as part of the efforts of the league body to hold the clubs more accountable in their operations and responsibilities. The evidence of the clubs in moving forward as a limited liability company is a major prerequisite for the 2020/2021 season. This time around, the certificate which is an essential document must be forwarded to NNL for sighting and domiciliation during registration. NNL Chief Operating officer, Mr. Emmanuel Adesanya said the second important League in the country is aiming at providing the best and most responsible league for all stakeholders including sponsors and fans. “Incorporation will authenticate clubs legal existence. We want a system where the clubs can cater adequately for their players and officials and operate under global standards best practices. Club incorporation is a huge step towards achieving this milestone” “Football is big business, consequently, we are keen in ensuring that the clubs see it as such, hence we are promoting it as such. Anything less will be counter productive Mr. Adesanya stated with optimism. Furthermore, Emmanuel declared that the clubs must forward an irrevocable letter of undertaking to complete the league and never to bring it to any form of disrepute. Such he noted must be endorsed by the club owner(s) or sponsor(s) and their state Football Association.

Sajo Dantija Appointeed CEO

Sajo Dantija Mohammed has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer, CEO of the Nigeria National League. The NNL regarded as the most important league in the country has been operating without a Chief Executive Officer since the resignation of Bukola Olapade from the league three seasons ago. Chairman of the NNL, Senator Obinna Ogba who accepted Sajo’s appointment said the appointee will take up the assignment with immediate effect. In the words of Senator Ogba; “Nature you know abhors vacuum. We have to hit the ground running, we want to cover fresh milestones”. Ogba added that; “the position of a Chief Executive is a necessary one that will help us galvanize the league more and reach expected heights”. Sajo Dantija Mohammed, a trained lawyer hails from Adamawa State. He attended University of Maiduguri and the Nigerian Law School as well as the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Sajo also went to the Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. Barrister Sajo Dantija Mohammed was a member of the Security Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, having worked with the Department of State Security Services (SSS) where he rose to the rank of Assistant Chief Security/Intelligence Officer. He retired from public service after 33 years. He will be responsible for executing the strategic objectives of the NNL, providing direction and leadership to enable the NNL board carryout its functions of governing the league. He is also expected to continually tinker with commercial engagements in Nigeria and beyond, focusing on increasing the revenue base of the League

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