Cover Story

Peace, Military Presence As New Chief of Takum Arrives Town

The Governor of Taraba State Dr Agbu Kefas has installed and presented Staff of Office to Barr S...

Abubakar Barde: Celebrating Taraba-born Superstar Football Administrator Behind The "Let's Do It Again Campaign"

There is an unsung hero in the just-concluded 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) football tournament that was held in the Republic of Ivory Coast which is also called Cote d'Ivoire due to the colonial legacy of the country as one of the numerous French colonies in Africa. 

The Nigerian contingent which placed second in the football tourney was predicted not to surpass the group stage by various sports analysts due to a wide range of reasons including the lackadaisical attitude of some soccer-watching Nigerians to support their own but would rather go the whole hog to hang on to the English Premier League. 

But out of the blues came the game-changer, Abubakar Barde, a man who has been described by many close watchers of activities in the glass house, the Headquarters of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) as a fast-rising sports administrator and a reliable ally in the Ibrahim Gusau led NFF's bid to revive Nigerian football and restore it lost glory.  

As the coordinator of the Let's Do It Again campaign, a specially curated project aimed at reviving the consciousness of Nigerians to support the Super Eagles, the monicker of the Nigerian National Team to greatness by bringing home the cup as it has done several times in the past, the last being in 2013, Barde audaciously and graciously took up the National assignment with an unprecedented kind of zest and faith that earned Nigeria the place it got at the Tournament. 

The special assistant to the NFF president on special duties and strategy adequately utilized his contacts within the Nigerian entertainment sector bringing on board A-list superstars to join the campaign to propel the Nigerian Team to bring the much-coveted trophy home.

Though the game might have come and gone, the lasting legacies it left in the minds of Nigerians will forever remain profound as the campaign headlined by Barde spoke to the inner spirit of Nigerians on the need for unity and profound love for one another irrespective of the artificial lines of tribe, religion, and race that seem to have deeply divided us. 

While I thank the Nigerian President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu for adequately rewarding the players, the coach, and the NFF president with the National honors of a member of the Order of the Niger (MON) alongside other ephemeral gifts as a show of gratitude for their patriotism, sacrifice, and love for country. 

It is in that spirit that I think Abubakar Barde is also deserving of a National Honour as the brain behind the campaign that aroused the consciousness of Nigerians to go all out and give their support for the country.  

He deserves commendation for his industry, creativity, and result-oriented approach in the Just concluded National Engagement because I believe doing so will propel young men like Barde and his colleagues to do better for the good of the country. 

It is also important to state that the campaign continues as the next AFCON is around the corner and we must sustain the spirit of patriotism and nationalism to do it again come 2025 in Morocco. The Let's Do It Again campaign remains strong and alive till the cup is brought home for Nigerians.

Gaddafi, a public affairs analyst writes from Abuja.

No comments