Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, has said that football in Nigeria will never be the same again when one of Nigeria’s foremost and traditional clubs, Bendel Insurance FC is re-launched. The club is set for a big-bang return on February 27 in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Reeling out the rich history of the club that shocked the football world in 1978, when it won Nigeria’s prestigious trophy, the Challenge Cup against the then untouchable Rangers International of Enugu, Shaibu, said the re-launch seeks to give football a new face.
He said, “It’s not only about the government but Corporate Nigeria, ex-soccer stars like, Chief Segun Odegbami and indeed the might of ‘Old Bendel’ led by NFF President, Melvin Amaju Pinnick will be brought to bear on a new idea that Bendel Insurance has come to represent.”
He said he has the full support of the Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to help reposition football and indeed sports through Bendel Insurance.
“I want to listen to these names that we will mention, just a few like Sebastian Brodericks-Imasuen, the first coach to win a junior World Cup for Nigeria and a proud Bendel Insurance player; our father, Coach Alabi Aisien, Kadiri Ikhana, Humphrey Edobor, Friday Elahor and Henry Ogboe. There are also goalkeepers Agwo Nnaji and Alhassan Mohammed and legendary, Roland Ewere.
“How many of Nigerians know today that Bendel Insurance is the first club to have won the current CAF Confederation Cup back-to-back? It’s time for re-discovery.”