Adokiye Amiesimaka: The Man Who Told The Truth

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has been caught with its pants down. The Eaglets Skipper, Mr. Fortune Chukwudi, is said to be at least 25 years old, and not 17, as the NFF and the national team claims. For a country trying to rebrand, trying to clean up its image, this has to be a terrible blow to the face and chin. In one fell swoop, Nigeria’s image sinks deeper into the cesspool.

There is a contradiction, an ironic twist, to the over-age saga. Most Nigerians, privately and publicly, are quick to point to their religiosity. Usually the first to point to their born-again status, or to having a direct phone line to God, they usually cannot wait to shoot themselves on the foot. They cannot wait to expose their hypocritical nature. And as usual, they will not take the blame for their personal and official irresponsibility. They have God to blame or to praise for everything under the sun – even if God had no hand in it.

From all indications, the Nigerian Football Federation is made up of Muslims and Christians. Considering the nature of the country, vis-à-vis religion, one can safely assume these are men and women who attends Church and Mosques on a regular basis, and who wears their religions on their sleeves. As is the practice in some government ministries and government agencies, one can safely assume they hold prayer vigil at the NFF, too.

The Qur’an, we are told, says, "Truly, Allah does not guide one who transgresses and lies” (Surah 40:28). In the Hadith, Mohammed was quoted as saying: “Be honest because honesty leads to goodness, and goodness leads to Paradise. Beware of falsehood because it leads to immorality, and immorality leads to Hell.” Two other passages in the Qur’an are also instructive: “Cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is)" (2:42); and “Take not your oaths, to practice deception between yourselves" (16:94). One wonders if the Muslims, within the NFF, who engaged in this deception and falsehood, read or are familiar with these passages.

Luke 16:10 tells us that “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” We trusted the NFF to be honest with us and with the international community, but see what they’ve done. Lied!  Heb. 13:18 wants us to "conduct ourselves honorably in all things;” We also know, as Prov. 12:22 tell us: "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord.” And then this: Rev. 21:27 - "no one who practices abomination and lying shall ever come into heaven." The Christians at the NFF, Coach John Obuh and member of his team must have read these passages, too.  God’s injections must not be taken lightly.

We know Coach Obuh to be a Christian. We know because the Vanguard newspaper, in Obuh Takes Eaglets to Church for Thanksgiving (November 1, 2009), reported that, “after guiding the Golden Eaglets to a hard-fought 2-1 win over Argentina, Coach John Obuh took time to attend a special thanksgiving service to God at an Abuja church.” The Coach was reported as saying: “Without God, there is nothing that one can achieve.  How far and how well we have fared can be attributed to the divine handiwork of God…today is my day to give thanks to God and I know that I would have more reasons to give thanks to God in the future.” I hope he confessed to God for this grand deception.

Now that the Nigerian Football Federation and the Golden Eaglets have been caught with their pants down (for lying and for rubbishing Nigeria’s image), they have decided to shift the blame, refuse to take responsibility, but instead blamed the truth-teller. The move is in full gears to attack, to condemn and heap vituperations on the man who dare tell the truth: Adokiye Amiesimaka. As a result of his moral and enviable act, he has now become the object of hate, ridicule, and slander by the Nigerian Football Federation.

At a time when the nation is expending a lot of resources in rebranding our country, men and women like Mr. Adokiye Amiesimaka should be commended, honored and emulated. He has NOT committed a crime -- be it legal or ethical. The current attacks against his person and reputation are therefore unwarranted. All he has done is appeal to our conscience, to our moral base. All he has done is help us believe in ourselves; that we need not cheat in other to win sporting championships. He is telling us that, as a nation striving to be great within the international system, integrity matters.

If we allow duplicity within the sporting arena, what hope do we have in the economic, cultural and political arena? If the establishment turns blind eyes to the transgression of our young minds, what then do we expect of such men and women when they grow up and are in position of authority? This is the time to rebrand and reorient our youths. If we lose the FIFA championship, that’s fine. If we win, that’s also fine.

Win or lose we must be confident in our ability, we must be proud that we played the game according to laid-down principles. Why celebrate a winning-performance that’s based on duplicity? This, in essence, was what Mr. Amiesimaka was/is getting at. He deserves our collective praise, not condemnation.

But no, for speaking the truth, he has now become the target for crucifixion. Is this the type of nation we have become? A nation of liars? Are we saying it is now acceptable to lie and lie and lie until the last man lies? And that it is okay to lie and to deceive not only ourselves, but the international community. When Coach Obuh went to Church to speak to God, to give thanks, he also lied to God. Three or more of those players also lied to themselves and to their country. They lied lied to FIFA and to all those young boys and girls who look up to them for inspiration and as inspirations.

For those who lied, why didn’t their parents, siblings, nieces and nephews say something, anything?  Didn’t their pastors and Imams and teachers know? Any one of them could have told the truth; but none did. But instead, all partook in mass deception. Instead of accepting the blame, they now want to shift culpability on a man who decided to tell the truth?

According to newspaper accounts, Adokiye Amiesimaka asserts that “In the 2002/2003 season, I was chairman of Sharks Football Club of Port Harcourt. I decided to have a feeder team of fresh school leavers not older than 20 years. One of my key players then is the current captain of our so-called Under 17 Golden Eaglets. By his own admission at that time, that is seven years ago, he was 18 years old…If we are not utterly irresponsible, how can he be eligible for this tournament when he is not less than 25 years old now?”

Coach John Obuh and his technical team could not have perpetrated and perpetuated this scam without the active connivance of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Sports Ministry. In reaction to the scandal, the Acting General Secretary of NFF, Mr. Musa Amadu said: “We are not claiming to be perfect, as that is a virtue that belongs to only the Almighty God. But Nigerians are aware of the efforts we made to ensure that we put forward a genuine team.” No one demanded perfection, only honesty -- which is one of God’s injunctions.

Other than the bold-faced lies and their habitual lying, the NFF is now accusing Mr. Amiesimaka of evil designs, claiming that a man who decided to tell the truth – a moral and ethical action members of the NFF seem totally incapable of -- they wants to destroy the Golden Eaglets and Nigeria’s reputation.  Which is more egregious to a nation’s reputation: lies or the truth?

Musa Amadu went on to say, “We are only stunned that there are Nigerians who so passionately hate their own country, simply because they are not at the helm…We should learn to celebrate excellence some of the time, not trying to bring down other people all the time. Has Amiesimaka been obsessed with so much hatred for our successful players because he never played in the World Cup? It is possible.” What nonsense! Who hates his country more: the truth-teller or peddlers of falsehood?

Along with Musa Amadu, others, including Taiwo Ogunjobi and their posse of imposters, are now accusing Mr. Adokiye Amiesimaka of the “destroy-them- by-all-means” syndrome, instead of being grateful to him for being truthful and upright. How could a man who spent the better years of his life in the service of Nigerian Sports and judiciary be so accused of “discrediting Nigerian football” as Ogunjobi has alleged. Now, who is a credit to Nigeria? Document forgers or the harbinger of truth?

In recent years, many Nigerian, privately and publicly, has been acting as though they are more catholic than the Pope, more saint than Saint Michael, more righteous than the righteous ones in all the Abrahamic religions. These are people, including Musa Amadu and Taiwo Ogunjobi, who may have knowingly engaged in fraud. Yet, they have the temerity to accost a truth-teller, a man who has for several decades, been a credit to the country.

The action of the Nigerian Football Federation, directly and indirectly, encouraged older boys to falsify their age; their incompetence made it possible for deception to take place; their inaction made cheating FIFA possible. Collectively, the actions and inaction of the personnel in and within the Nigeria Football Federation has made nonsense of Nigeria’s rebranding efforts. We speak of rebranding, of a new image; yet, we made it possible for the global community to deride Nigeria. We owe Adokiye Amiesimaka a world of gratitude.

Sabidde@yahoo.com

 
 

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Rebranding Nigerian image should start from we Nigerian because as long as people like Saint Adokiye are there to tarnish our image, we would get no where. I believe his revelation has personal conotation rather that being a saint. Mark it, am not supporting fraud,but in the world of sport the smartest always wins, that is why Maradona is being venerated today even with his hand of god goal or using his drug to win Nigeria in the world cup,yet he is a hero today. Let portray a good image of our country, USA is not better than Nigeria when we talk of gangstar, fraudstar and other crimes, yet every american talks positive things about their country. This is the only way out in rebranding our image...Talk positive of Nigeria.

Remi Jackson
London

To BS HAIBA well said...it is apparent that given for analysis of events your thoughts will forever be a shining beacon to the current members of the NFF board. Well done sir!;D;D

Some of the comments above depict Nigerians as utterly unserious and irredemably corrupt people. Amasiemeka's motive is not the issue here. The only issue is age cheating which has become our national past time. Have we never bothered to determine why afetr these competitions, players from other countries go on to higher things, while their Nigerian counterparts fizzle out after a few years of average performance. What I expected the NFF to do is admit the young man in question pulled the wool over their collective eyes and immediately withdraw him from the team. That is the part of honour, but it seems to be beyond us. MRI is a test that is based on probability and is not a definite proof of one's age. Instead of working towards winning the world cup, we expend all our energy on age competitions organised solely for the purpose of discovering 'young' talents. Whatever do we teach our children. Are we cursed or what?

Another possibility is that Fortunes Chukwudi might have lied to Adokiye about his real age to qualify him in to his Sharks feeder team then. So, it could be the other way round. How could Adokiye just make conclusion based on Chukudi's confession alone ? Adokiye should know better that this tradition of age cheat has been long in football cycle. By the way FIFA MRI test has been carried on our players before the commencement of the tournament. It is just wickedness on the part of Adokiye to make this utterances at this crucial time, why didn't he protest at that time if really he wants to help our football.Adokiye must be up to something else. It is unpatriotic and it appears coming out from a prostrated mind, that is all.

what adokie said could be true.but his style of expressing it was wrong and unpatrotic.as at today the best way of knowing people,s age is the test carried out by FIFA.and we were not told that the test conducted indicted our players.Why then is adokie complaining on the pages of newspapers.

I respect Adokiye a lot and will never forget his forays as a wingr for the senior national team. While Adokiye may be correct, I doubt his sincerity in this matter. When did he discover that Chukwudi is in the team? Why is he saying tha now? As for NFF, can they rightly say this is the correct age of a player? The player must provide a proof and considering the Nigerian system, he could have brought a sworn declaation of age. What would you do? Deny him a chance to play when the system recognises him to be within the age limit? FIFA introduced the MRI test and NFF says the Test reveals he is under 17. If you were not there when the boy is born you can only rely on such scientific test. Let's leave the guy issue. The only fom of verification that can be done is the MRI test and the guy passed. Let him be.

I stopped watching Nigerian age grade competitions since I discovered this "football age/real age" thing (a disparity of 10-12 years in most cases but, we complain of unfair referees when we fail to win the real teenagers!). The bottom line is by the time this guys make the 'super chickens' team they are grand dads. Anyone who has played amateur/professional sports in Nigeria knows this fact but no one had been able to say it out loud. Here, its been said. But Nigeria never learns! Shame.

Issue of lie, theft, corruption all begins with every soul within the four walls of this country. Nff did what they could do. I heard someone saying: God punish those bad rulers. Then I said; including the bad citizens.

If this is true, Na wah o, for Nigeria....... Adokiye should never be criticized. Those that turn blind eyes to the truth should be brought to book. Nigeria we hail theeeeeeeeeeee.

We must remind ourselves that cheating in age grade competitions is not a new phenomenon in Nigeria. It even earned us FIFA ban in the past. Have we forgotten that ‘mathematical’ Odegbami once complained about this kind of lie and cheating when he said that if Lemy Issa (one-time Golden Eaglets' goaltender) was under-17, then his grandfather would be 25 years old! The problem is, we never learn from our past mistakes; and “lessons unlearnt have a sinister way of haunting those who refuse to learn them”. We are now being haunted by our failure, nay refusal to learn from past errors and this unwarranted castigation and vilification of Adokie is nothing but crisis of patriotism! One who dares to tell the truth is more patriotic than those would rather conceal and perpetuate a lie that leads to nowhere. Speaking the truth is the beginning of rebranding, and we need more Adokies in Nigeria. Personally, I think he deserves a national award!

Majority of Nigerians have their consciences seared with hot iron, and that explains why people are now complaining about Adokie's motives for revealing what we all know. As far as telling the truth is concerned, motive is irrelevant. The truth must be told no matter whose ox is gored. It is either the current Golden Eaglets' captain is under-17 or he is not. Period. If he is not under-17, as I have reason to believe from the photograph above, then we should commend, rather than vilify, Adokie for speaking-up, whether belatedly or not, when the rest of Nigerians chose to turn a blind-eye to what is too obvious to ignore. It is never too late to tell the truth. It was Uthman Dan Fodio who said that - "Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it". Adokie's conscience in intact and that is why he had to speak up.

Do not crucify Adokiye for exposing the age fraud. He has always been known to be upright. His team CMS Grammer School defeated my school Maryland Comprehensive in '75 and We were members of the Lagos State Academicals same year. Just tells me he has not changed. If we preach re-branding, this is the time to start, however much it hurts. Shame on those criticising Adokiye cos it only shows you are morally bankrupt.

truth is bitter.

I am totally disappointed in Amesimaka or whatever he is called,even if this boy is 25 yrs old which we can guess he is,why does he want to wash our dirty linen in the public,what is the big deal about it,all the countries have one or two that are overaged,and by the way,is he a saint?he has no sin?I think he has an ulterior motive and he should be ashamed of himself,he is supposed to be an elderstatesman when it comes to football.THE BRING THEM DOWN SYNDROME AT ALL COST IN NIGERIA?SHAME ON YOU ,ADOKIYE AMESIMAKA.

I do mri test for a living and the tests are not definate as to determine the actual age just a range so its possible he is over 17.
but we naija pple who are we kidding none of those guys are below
20 look at them. the proof will be in 5 yrs they all will be out of soccer. most the the under 20 guys who played with messi from nigeria are all out of football so this guys are deceiving themselves and the nff knows this for a fact
thats why naija football is in trouble and european teams dont sign our players to long term contracts because u dont know what u are getting

Kudos Adokie. But was the confession in good faith? Only time will tell.

KUDOS ADOKIE.
Why re-brand? The truth must be brought to the fore,ANYHOW.
I can bet to high heavens that non of the present U-17 team is less than 20 years.
SHAME ON NFF.
Take a closer look at a 17 year old in your family and tell God the ones playing are under 20.SHAMELSS PEOPLE IN NFF,THE PLAYERS THEMSELVES AND THOSE WHO CASTIGATE ADOKIE FOR AT LEAST SAYING THE TRUTH

I AGREE THAT THE TRUTH SHOULD BE TOLD ALWAYS. BUT MY QUESTION IS: IS ADOKIYE A SAINT? CAN HE CLAIM TO HAVE DONE NO WRONG? CAN HE COME OUT PUBLICLY AND TELL THE WORLD THE TRUTH ABOUT HIMSELF: WHETHER HE WAS U17 WHEN HE PLAYED FOR THE GOLDEN EAGLET; WHETHER HE WASN'T CORRUPT AS A MANAGER OF SHARKS FC; AND WHETHER HE DOESN'T TAKE BRIBE AS A BARRISTER? IN NIGERIA, TRUTH HAS ALWAYS BEEN TOLD WHEN IT IS ABOUT THE OTHER PERSON THAT WE HAVE PROBLEM WITH. ADOKIYE DID NOT EVEN TELL US THAT HE HAS CHUKWUDI'S BIRTH CERTIFICATE, YET HE MAKES A PUBLIC SPEACH WITH AN AGE HE WAS TOLD SOME YEARS AGO. I THINK HE SHOULD PRODUCE A VALID PROOF BEFORE DOUBTING AN APPROVED FIFA SCIENTIFIC MRI TEXT.

The guy in the photo looks 12. You guys are just jealous. LOL!!!!

i think our problem is that we take everything with the spirit of DO OR DIE, which i believe is a sign of FAILURE.

Truth is a matter of morality and Patriotism. Adokiye has said the truth.What he has just revealed is not new.If you look at our c operate institutions , everything involved are full of lies and deceit.Take a example of National census.Everyone involved lies. So lying and cheating has become a corporate institution in Nigeria.However, I strongly believe that Adokiye's revelation was done in bad test and out of malice and not because of patriotism. Maybe some body within the NFF has been wronged so badly that he decides to lick the information to Adokiye who has always been suspecting this Chukwudi but was not too sure.In fact the bible tells us to admonish someone who is erring but do it with love.In view of this Adokiye could have approach the NFF and let them know rather than going to the press.Yes, morally he is right but as a patriotic citizen he could have been more diplomatic in his Revelation.

when I used to play for my school in the Lagos state principal's cup in the seventies, we had schools who used to enrol professional players from clubs like stationery stores, julius berger & others. I am laughung so much my sides ache. The picture above resemble my papa

The President lied about election he did not win.

My Minister lied about contracts.

My cousin lied about the house he "helped" me build.
The pastor lied about the church money.
What do you expect from the kid next door? Tell the truth? Haba, thats asking too much.

Those who hate Nigeria are those who do nothing honest, who inflate contracts, who lie on their educational qualifications to get the wrong jobs, who falsify election results to get positions that they were not elected into, who defraud NIgeria of resources that are meant to improve our roads, education, hospitals, water supply, electricity supply etc. It is the same people lying now to detroy the image of Nigeria. They lie, not because they love Nigeria but becuase they have never known the honest way of doing things. They lie because they want to defraud Nigeria. They cheated on the age of players not because they love Nieria, but because they want to cover up their lack of adequate preparations for the games after taking out so much and putting so little.

I am not surprised. Nigeria as an entity is being guided by a FRAUDULENT CONSITUTION. In such a clime nothing can come out of it but fraud. Nevertheless, Mr. Adokiye Amiesimaka came a bit late with his revelation. It seems to me his intention at this time around is beyond the truth but personal axe to grind with NFF officials. Both sides Mr. Adokiye Amiesimaka and NFF are really blameworthy for this national catastrophy.

@ Ilechukwu Ugo, I totally agree with you 100%. This is a moral issue and I can bet anyone that cares that Adokie said this out of jealousy. Maybe, he didn't get any job/contract from the National team otherwise,the names of these players was shortlisted months b4 this tournament. And since he claimed to have known the player very, why did he choose to talk now just to disgrace our country.He's a hypocrite! Sports is all about talent and entertainment, Americans & Europeans cheat alot yet, governing bodies sweeps their tricks under the carpet. Just recently FIFA president said in one of his press briefings that he sees nothing wrong in diving to get a free-kick or penalty and Rtd tennis player, Andre Agassi confessed in his book that he took drugs. But, if they were to be Nigerian would you call for his titles to be stripped? By my comment, I'm not supporting evil cos what is evil is evil. But, what I do know is that there's a lot of politics going on in NFF it's not about re-branding.

Adokie said the truth but at the wrong time.Though many people have commented that Nigerians are corporate liars, a situation of this nature does affect Nigerians abroad negatively and on individual basis.
Many South American nations are known to field over age players in some age-group competetions.Poland was accused some years back.
A lawyer and a former State Commissioner would have gone about this more diplomatically and dilligently.

Hmmm, Please when did adokiye realise that this boy was overage?
during trials?, during warm up matches?, during selection?, first match?

I think there is more to this. A mafia insider is hurt and he has decided to expose what he knows. we all know what happened at Renault formula 1 team. maybe the boy has a new agent instead of the man who discovered him at "sharks"

Adokiye please go to hell! you are just as bad as all of them. you just spoiled my day.

SR What about those before this chap Investigate their Age Corruption is not only when Government officials steal.
Tell us the real Age of Oliseh,Amokachi,Kanu,Okocha,Abiodun Baruwa and Obafemi at least i know this ones their true Age investigate and let Nigerians know some one or some people got away with it so the others are encouraged to declare Football age if you dont expose the ones before them others would still try to beat the system

Adokie should just let d sleeping dog lie. How many colombia players, Gambia & even the HITLER boys are truly 17.
Is Adokie the MRI inventor?
leave dem alone & stop distracting us. Super Eagles gives us Hypertension, Flying Eagles gave Heart attack, @least Golden Eaglets have raised their game.
Thanks

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