Help can mean; To give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or to satisfy a need. If one considers this, one may come to the conclusion that anyhow help should come. In fact, it dawned on me that not all help is good and helpful. Help that comes too early may be abused; help that is unwarranted may make one become comfortable without pushing ahead to succeed, and help that comes too late may be useless. Help that is crucial and desirable is the help that is given in time of need.
Instead of asking who you help? It is important we ask what one can offer? Because who you help cannot be the main determinant of electing a leader God has ordained to pilot the affairs of the masses.
Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdulahi, what can you offer? “Ane ne ya neke a la n”, an Igala proverb meaning he who ask question can never take a road amiss. Such questions helps us not to draw conclusion without adequate knowledge.
It might interest you to know that one aspirant if not the best among the 2019 Kogi gubernatorial aspirants currently is Alh. Sani Lulu. Because he does not withhold what belongs to the people. Sani Lulu’s main concern in life and destiny is not the amount of property acquired but who do you have around you. Is the person around you capable of living above One Hundred And Fifty Naira (N150) a day? Can such a person feed three square meal without begging? What can you do to avoid living at the mercy of mockers of destiny? These are some of life threatening questions that made Alhaji Sani Lulu to offer amazing opportunities to people rather than help which comes from God alone.
Without being immodest, Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi, former staff of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), who supervised the Supreme Court building as the Quantity Surveyor. He later became the Director of sports, with creative and innovative ideas that led to the building of a gigantic sports complex in Garki, Area 10, Abuja. Aside the National Stadium built by the late Sani Abacha, the edifice remains the only functioning sports complex in Abuja today. It contained facilities like, volleyball court, tennis court, football field with adjoining facilities like dressing rooms for both visiting and home-based teams, referee dressing room, basketball court, a handball court, and indoor sports hall.
Within the same period, Alhaji Sani Lulu founded and funded many sports associations in the said period where a Kogi State born Kabiru Adamah was appointed Chairman, Weightlifting Association till this moment. In 2002, he became 1st vice chairman Nigeria Football Association and ultimately Chairman, Nigeria Football Association in the year 2006. Upon assumption, his first assignment was to dare the aspect no chairman before him dared, renaming of the association from NFA to NFF- Nigeria Football Federation in line with the international best practices.
He transformed NFA that is Nigeria football Association to Nigeria football federation NFF in line with international best practices. He proposed the bill to the National Assembly to give the federation legal teeth. But it was not passed before he left until about two weeks ago. It is still his achievement because there were certain funds you will not be able to access from FIFA as an association unless you are a federation. It was this change that enabled him access to some funds which made the federation a bit independent of federal government, thus; reducing the influence of the ministry of Sports.
Lulu facilitated Lokoja Confluence Stadium from the level of the planning, construction, completion and upgrading to FIFA Standard. Former Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, described former NFF President Sani Lulu Abdullahi as one of the brightest shining lights of the confluence State.
According to the former governor; “Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi has lifted the name of the state brilliantly in the way and manner he is going about leading Nigeria football. This is one son in whom I am proud, in whom the good people of Kogi State are proud and in whom Nigerians should be proud. Sani Lulu Abdullahi has challenged me and I am taking up that challenge. He wants to complete the work on the new Township Stadium and I have assured him that we would do that before the end of the year. I am setting up a special committee this week to look into how we can make our football better in Kogi State.”
One of Sani Lulu’s achievement is an Idah boy named Abbas Ibrahim who currently plays for Pacco De Ferera of Portugal which is a discussion for another day. Playing in the National Team is not a tea party or quota system, yet Sani Lulu did his best for two Kogites in the Super Falcons, two Kogites the U-17, the first and last Kogi ever had FIFA Referees was under Sani Lulu; an Ebira girl, Bose Momoh and an Igala from Iyale, Abel Baba. He is today Nigeria’s number 1 Referee and preparing to go for his 3rd AFCON.
Galadima employed only three members of staff throughout his tenure. Sani Lulu employed 28, half being Kogites and his personal staff. I can tell you with authority that no single member of staff has been employed since 2010 after Lulu left.
Sani Lulu went on to take Nigeria football to it’s zenith by making history as the first FA president in Africa to qualify all the 9 teams in FIFA recognized competition for the world cup. That was not enough, Nigeria rose to the 9th position in the monthly FIFA ranking, the first after the Stephen Keshi of blessed memory led 1994 USA team. Nigeria Super Eagles have not risen up to 24th since he left in 2010.
Furthermore, he introduced the FA U-13 tournament that produced Kelechi Iheanacho in Calabar. He also introduced state youth development football programme and funded it with #500,000.00 yearly. We must also be reminded of the fact that upon assumption of office in 2006 as NFF president, he met a debt of over #300,000.00. He did not just dispense off the debt, he introduced new policies and initiated programmes that arouse the interest of investors and industrialists who began to identified their products and services with our darling teams that by the time he left office, there was excess cash of #2.8 billion naira. The first and only man to have done so in the spirit of transparency and accountability in Nigeria football history.
Without the assistance of rocket science, I can navigate through historical contours in order to inform our intuitive perception and that of the aforementioned, Sani Lulu stands very tall in the midst of 2019 gubernatorial aspirants. He is the proprietor of FOSLA Academy that currently have over 150 students on his scholarship scheme worth Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only (N750,000.00) per person annually. No doubt, there are over 30 of ex FOSLA Academy students who are on a full scholarship from Sani Lulu at Nasarawa State University today. They are products of the Academy. The criteria for admission into the school to enjoy this magnanimity is to be an orphan and, or indigent.
Sani Lulu is man who achieved these rare feat without monthly statutory allocation, without bailout funds, without internally generated revenue or excess crude account. Exactly what will turn Kogi State using the power of confluence to the most promising state within his first four years when elected governor.
– Sylvester Ojogbane
Spokesman, Sani Lulu Campaign Organization, Kogi State.