Tinubu, This Is One Of Our Major Problems In Nigeria And The Way Forward—Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene, President, Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo, Lagos


OpenLife Nigeria reports that there have been lots of concerns over the future of Nigeria’s football.

This is specially so following the disenchantments of football loving Nigerians over the poor showings of the Super Eagles in the preparations towards the Africa Cup of Nations and the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

In an exclusive interview with Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene, President, Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo, Lagos at his Ikoyi private office, the businessman and renowned art collector , offered advice to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on football development.

He calls on President Tinubu to look at the direction of Johannes-Franciscus Bonfrère, popularly known as Bonfrère Joe

You have always championed issues that affect Nigerians. At the moment, there is one issue that Nigerians are worried about and that is football. They feel the country is not doing well in the sport that gives them joy. What do you think?

To support the President is not to give him money. Or give him allocation in my village land. Or to ask for who will be given appointment or fighting for an oil well license.

Giving one person commissioner or ambassador for any State makes no difference for the people of that state.

For so many Nigeria politicians, the position they occupy is for themselves and their family interests. Sometimes, they use their positions to exhibit superiority to their peer group including their well-wishers who supported them to get that position they are.

My only worry when advising politicians in Nigeria is that some of them investigate your biological parents whether they are former ministers or governors or if you are an oil magnate or a billionaire in your area of endeavor before they will pay attention to your advice.

But a man with wisdom will always remember that advice can come from anyone irrespective of that person’s position.

What majority of politicians like are those with sugar coated mouths that manufacture lies that sound better than the truth.

But I know that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a man of wisdom, who believes in sacrifices and good advice irrespective of the profile and position of who is giving the advice.

So, I, Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene, President, Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo, Lagos State, with a Certified True Copy,CTC, of a Lagos High Court judgement retaining me as the Ohanaeze Ndigbo President till June 2026 just the same way the Supreme Court gave President Tinubu judgment till 2027, has advice for Mr. President.

Now, this is my advice as the leader of Ndi-Igbo in Lagos State till 2026.

Many presidents have come and gone. They failed because of this simple idea and common sense to apply and achieve the goals.

What is the advice?

It is football. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Commander-in-Chief, Armed Forces, Federal republic of Nigeria is neither a professional footballer nor has he held office in the ministry of sports.

Tinubu, This Is One Of Our Major Problems In Nigeria And The Way Forward---Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene, President, Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo, Lagos
Celestine Babayaro and Bonfrere Jo

But what makes somebody a born leader is that what you don’t have, you bring in professionals to handle it for you and all the accolades will still go back to you as the leader.

And any advice from any one can be compared and contrast before final decision because every execution lies on the leader’s head.

I can assure you that if you give me any position in Nigeria, I will employ all the professionals that can deliver the results that are needed at all times.

That is why majority of Ndi-Igbo are still rating me as the best President Ndi-Igbo have ever produced for over 25 years that Ohanaeze started in Lagos.

One of the simplest things that will enable President Tinubu to bring Nigerians together is football.
President Tinubu should look into that Ministry. It has been messed up for so many years.

And football is one of the simplest things that can bring Nigerians together in joy and happiness.
I am not saying that we should down play other sports.

But what I am saying is that greater attention should be given to football because the happiness that football would bring will help to calm the youths to be patience until everything normalizes in the country.

We have talents in football and that is the area of the youths who will bring the happiness we are talking about.

In specific term, what do you recommend for the President to do in the area of football?

Yes, I recommend Bonfrere Jo to come back to Nigeria either as a coach or as technical adviser.
And 95 percent of people who believe in Nigeria as one nation will be on the same page with me with this my advice.

Bonfrere Jo was in Nigeria twice this year. He sees Nigeria as his second home.

He comes to Nigeria not less than three to four times every year since 1996 when he made Nigeria proud by winning the Atlanta Olympic gold medal in football.

Tinubu, This Is One Of Our Major Problems In Nigeria And The Way Forward---Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene, President, Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo, Lagos
Celebrations by Super Eagles players with Bonfrere Jo during Atlanta 96 

All the promises made to him and his crew, he is the only one that has not received his own including the property Lagos State government promised him.

And he is not worried about that. Others have received their own. His main concern is how Nigeria will come back to their glorious days of football. He is interested in legacy as a man from the western world. That is their belief.

We should remember that Clemens Westerhof success was backed by Bonfrere Jo who was the main man as the technical strategist when the Super Eagles did very well in Tunisia 94 by winning Africa cup of nation for the 2nd time and also USA World cup 94 participation.

Westerhof calls Bonfrere Jo his mentor.

Importantly, any time he is in Nigeria, all the super eagle players since 1994 will be around him till he leaves.
In most cases, those former players foot his bills. Most of them have visited him in Europe many times.

Late Stephen Keshi also believed that his success came from Bonfrere Jo both as a player and coach, winning the nations cup in 2013.

Some of our former players who are doing well in coaching jobs both at local and international levels are Bonfrere Jo’s boys till date.

My own personal friend, Emmanuel Amunike calls Bonfrere Jo mathematician when it comes to football. He helped him a lot for what he is today both as a player and coach.

So, he is still very agile to bring back that glory and happiness to Nigeria.

For example, the only problem he was having at that period was that he refused to take bribe to include those who were qualified to play in the Super Eagles squad based on their performance when they came on trial.

Some families offered him million of Niara for their children to be included. Some offered some amount in dollars but he refused.

Even the then Minister of Sports persuaded him to take some players who were not qualified to play at the national team but Bonfrere Jo turned it down.

That was why immediately after the Olympic victory in Atlanta, he flew straight Netherlands because he was not happy with all the troubles the Minister gave him at that period, according to him.

So, Bonfrere Jo is not happy with what is happening in Nigeria football today. That is why he is showing sympathy to come back and rebuild the Super Eagles.

In one of his interviews this year at Sheraton hotel, Ikeja where he lodged, he said of all the clubs and places he has coached, he understands Nigeria kind of football more than any other one.

So, if this kind of person who loves Nigeria so much is given the opportunity to turn football around, Super Eagles will fly again and this will be to the glory of President Tinubu.

Please, Mr. President, I believe you listen to advice without considering the person’s position and profile. Please, consider this advice.

Tinubu, This Is One Of Our Major Problems In Nigeria And The Way Forward---Chief Solomon Ogbonna Aguene, President, Ohanaeze Ndi-Igbo, Lagos
L-R: Chief Solomon, President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos, Baba Eto, Bonfrere Jo and Ambassador Friday

About Author

Share This