Thursday, July 29, 2010

Paradox of the Overaged Underage

I wrote this piece while watching the Falconets of Nigeria play against the USA team.

In spite of how interesting the match was, my mind kept wandering back to the last world cup and the dismal performance of the Green Eagles (super????).

At the senior world cup where there are no age restrictions; teams like Germany, Ghana etc came with teams with an average age ranging between 22-24. Nigeria came with a team with an average age of 27-29 years. Recent developments tend to show that it takes more than old age / experience to win or perform well in international tournaments. It also requires youthfulness and strength

At age-grade competitions, some countries are world famous for using “overage” players. These countries usually perform excellently at such competitions using “experienced players”. The irony of it is that when these players are supposed to blossom and mature with time in subsequent senior tournaments, the players become tired-legs, “expired” and no longer effective.

The irony is that these same countries bring tired-legs to tournaments with no age restrictions and perform woefully. Perhaps the football leadership of these countries have forgotten that the purpose the age group competition is to identify talents early and encourage football development. The objective of the tournament to member countries should not be primarily to win but ensure that talents are discovered and nurtured to maturity over some periods of time. While it is desirable to win under 17 and under 21 competitions, the method should not be through the use of overage players but through proper preparation and having under 13, 15 clinics and competitions to discover talents which abound in the Nation.

In 1989, the great Pele predicted that “Uncle Godwin Okpara” would become one of the best players in the world by virtue of what he displayed on the pitch. Luis Figo played in that same competition but nothing was said of him, but you and I know Figo became a shining star before he retired from active football. One commentator said regarding Mikel Obi in 2005, “this ‘boy’ plays with a charisma of an experienced and exposed player. He holds the ball and makes excellent passes”. Mikel and Taiwo eventually became 2nd and 3rd best players of the tournament behind Lionel Merci. Today, five (5) years after, Merci is world best. Our dear brothers are probably African or Nigerian best (sorry if I hurt you).

All major towns and cities should by now have a secondary school that focuses on football and athletics generally. Regular competitions should be organized between them at State and National levels under the watchful eyes of the national team coaches. I sincerely hope that a “good” coach will be hired for the national team with a 4-year term contract. Quality friendly matches should also be organized for eagles i.e. against Germany, Holland, Argentina, Spain etc as against poorly rated teams to expose the real weakness and strength of our teams.

I look forward to seeing the green eagles “super” again.

Written by Oluyemi Adeosun

Friday, July 23, 2010

Focusing on the Fundamentals

Written by TM Oluyemi Adeosun

We need a leader who we can identify with not on the basis of tribe, tongue, political party and religious affiliation but on his the capacity to understand the fundamental challenges we are facing as a people/nation, identify the strengths and numerous potentials within the nation as a result generate and implement ideas that could harness these potentials to deliver our nation from the doldrums of poverty and ineptness/ineptitude.

I am bored with newspaper report about zoning, northern, eastern or minority agenda. My challenge is not and will never be where the president comes from but lack of electricity, infrastructural decay, monolithic economy, educational decadence, the beast called corruption etc

Earlier in this administration, we had a manifesto built on 7-point Agenda covering all basic and essential aspects of the Nigerian lives – according to the ruling party. (you could mention the 7 points). But one thing that was lost amidst the propaganda and braggadocio was the absence accountability and a measuring scale what has been done from day one the campaign started. Now, 7-point agenda seems dead or out rightly dead. Imagine if each point were taken as a project with milestones and deadlines! Imagine if Minister of Power had a mandate to deliver 1000Mega Watt as his KPI! Imagine if Minister of Education need to ensure less failure in National exams before he gets his next project approved. Imagine if the Minister of Labour was appraised on the number of jobs created in three (3) months! Imagine what I am imagining!

It has been recommended that we perhaps should focus on one agenda and see it to a logical conclusion i.e. electricity. If an administration can make uninterrupted electricity available to all Nigerians, we can name all transformers after the president as a memorial. Providing this critical resource will have a multiplier effect on all aspect of the socio-economic milieu. SMEs will thrive and more jobs will be created. In our individual lives, I believe this is one step we can take now and likewise have an overwhelming impact on our entire lives.

Our multifaceted developmental problems may appear to require multi-dimensional strategy to face it headlong. In each sector, we can identify one project that will provide succor on multiple fronts to the citizenry of this great nation.

I wish the government or minister of transport can select the railway sub sector and connect the hinterland with the cities. I.e. connect Lagos to all the major towns in the southwest i.e. Ibadan, Abeokuta, Ijebu-ode,Sagamu with high speed train systems. This will mean you don’t have to live in Lagos to work in Lagos (population distribution). This will result to the over hiked price of rents in Lagos to fall to realistic levels (reduced housing problem). Jobs will be created for train drivers and officers (employment generation). Income will be generated by the train operators. What interest me the most is that our roads will last longer since their will be less traffic on the road (traffic decongestion and cost savings). Heavy duty goods will be moved more through the rails than the roads.

The above illustration is simple and anybody can think about it. The big question is will someone implement it?

We need a leader with the capacity to think and deploy solutions using native intelligence and indigenous personnel. To some extent Lagos has shown us what a strong will can do. We need a thinking President, 36 thinking Governors and 774 thinking Local government Chairmen. (108 Senators, 3XX Reps, XYZ Commissioners, XYZ Councilors) We must embrace the process of beneficiation i.e. Add value to the raw materials before exporting them. We are well endowed we just need to put on our thinking cap, implement and start prospering.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


by Oluyemi Adeosun

A Spanish proverb says “take what you want” Said God, “and pay for it. Andrew Jackson added that “you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. There is a price (sacrifice, money) to be paid for the prize (reward, fulfillment).

When you see a successful man you see someone who has gone through a lot. The university professor has burnt the midnight candle. He has written many academic journals. He has come out a lot of research. The four star army general has many stars yet he has many scars, some of my colleagues have died, he has lost dear ones, he has been through hell and high waters. A Yoruba adage says that the person who will drink the water in the coconut will not look at the mouth of the axe”.

That you are going through some challenges and hard times right now is an indication that you are still on track, you are making progress. People may pity you right now. I am sure that in the days ahead they will envy you. You may be in obscurity right now but I see you coming into limelight.

When I see people with outstanding results and accomplishment, I don’t attribute it to luck or good fortune. I ask them what they have gone through prior this success. In men’s stories I see the principles birthed the glory. I don’t ask successful people for money rather I ask them for insights and wisdom.

Ask yourself what do you need to do right now to move to the next level? Do you need to further your education? Do a certification? Learn a trade or craft? Drop a habit that is affecting your health or progress? Do you need to relocate? Read more in your field endeavour.

If you have peace about it, the go ahead with your personal development plan. Contact the trade training centre school for the admission requirements. Do your research, Google it on the internet make enquiries from the right sources.

Charles Dubois said “the important thing is this! To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become”. Perhaps you are enjoying some measure of success right now…….. don’t rest on your oars. What you have right now is child’s play compared to what you have ahead.

Reach out to your dream.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Happiness is a choice you need to make on a daily basis. “You need to learn to be happy by nature, because you will seldom have the chance to be happy by circumstance” lavetta Wegman. Be honest with yourself………..what does happiness mean to you……..for me am happy when I make life more meaningful to others, when I provide sustainable help to people’s need. You have to be specific. Jane Wagner said”All my life I always wanted to be somebody, now I see that I should have been more specific”. Don’t be vague or generic. Those who succeed in life know what they want and go for it.
Yes go for what you want the race is not to the swift but to those who keep on running. Sometimes what you want may seem impossible Doug Larson said “some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not swift enough to know they were impossible”.
You can have what you want. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is how they developed their minds and applied knowledge in their day to day activities. Somebody said “there are no third world countries we only have third world minds.
Make what you want your focus keep your priorities right. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said “the greatest thing in this world is not to much where we are, but in which direction we are moving”.
“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams, think not about your frustration but about your unfulfilled potential” Pope John Paul III Apostle Paul said “I press towards the mark”. Reach out to your dreams with unwavering commitment. John Collidge said “persistence and determination alone are omnipotent; the slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”.
No matter what disappointment you have experienced in the recent past…. I charge you to move on. Why wait here and die? Move on to the next level.