How Okocha Rebrands Nigeria

One of the African greatest footballers - Austin "Jay Jay" Okocha
One of the African greatest footballers - Austin "Jay Jay" Okocha

Austin Okocha is a great name in Nigeria and a well recognised and respected icon in the entire world of football. Austin Okocha is a great name in Nigeria and a well recognised and respected icon in the entire world of football.

He has served his country in various capacities as a football star of high reckoning and has become almost indispensable to all fabrics of our football life.

The iconic football personality in his consistency on the field of play has attained an irreplaceable position as a hero of our time, a role model, organiser and an accomplished businessman.

He had been rumoured on several occasions as agreeing to stage a come back even after few years of retirement to draw home his patriotism and unflinching loyalty for his fatherland.

His important place in the history of Nigeria football will ever remain nonnegotiable.

To add more to his kitty of achievement, Okocha recently scored a marvellous goal from an unusual position, netting in the goal through a mid-air sagalo kick that  caught the goalkeeper( Information Minister  Akunyili) unaware. The kick in reality has made a mincemeat of all the acquired knowledge and expertise potted by the most formidable goalkeeper on our current field of political play. Even members of her a dream team, captained by our one and only slow-paced achieving President Musa Yar’adua were held spellbound and completely flagabasted  by Okocha’s goal.

No doubt, the resultant impact of the netted goal has left Okocha already celebrating the Golden boot award which he rightly deserves. What a true patriot and teacher(?) Okocha has turned to be. Yes, a teacher as Okocha has taught our political actors on how to be a patriot and an achiever on the field of political ground play.

He has represented millions of angry Nigerians in demonstrating to Information Minister Akunyili that Nigeria needs no rebranding because the nation remains the best brand in the entire world, a brand that leads while others follow, a brand that produces the best of everything,  – if given the right leadership-a leadership with passion for achievement, passion for excellence, passion for developmental purposes for the country, passion for the welfare of the citizenry, and passion for a vision for a country completely loosing direction.

Okocha’s recent concern and demonstration when the Green Eagles played home to Tunisians is an indication that he loves this country more than many of our so called politicians. He could not contain a loosing Nigeria; Hear this report by ace Vanguard sports reporter and  Group Sports Editor, Onochie  Anibeze: ‘ Austin Okocha was enveloped by momentary madness the moment he saw Tunisia’s Derragi Oussma run into wide space created for him by Taiye Taiwo.

He had all the time to adjust and run deeper into Green Eagles goal area. It was two minutes to full time and Nigeria were leading 2-1 in a match Eagles needed the victory to be in serious contention for a World Cup final slot.

The Derragi move made Okocha crazy as he saw how close he (Derragi) was scoring the equaliser. The former Eagles captain was close to the touchline. He is a member of the Presidential Task Force saddled with the responsibility of ensuring Nigeria’s qualification for the next World Cup.

In his Hotel room shortly after the match, Okocha, so disappointed and down told the story of his momentary madness while hissing and apparently disgruntled, murmured audibly: ’I saw the move and I went crazy. Crazy things passed through my mind.

In seconds and I felt like rushing into the field to hold the Tunisia player. I don’t know what could have happened but I could have stopped the goal. I almost ran into the pitch. And they scored with that move, so I could have still dashed into the field to hold that guy.

Okocha’s greatest regret is the second thought that drew him away from dashing into the field to grab the ball from Derragi’s feet to safe Nigeria from the second goal conceded by Eagles. His passion for his country blinded him from the reality of risks to his International image and credibility.

The penalty from FIFA could be banning me from watching live games for a period but Nigeria could have had the chance to go to the World Cup. Honestly, I went crazy and thought of running into the field. . And see what eventually happened’, he said. Okocha went further to explain the tactics Green Eagles could have explored to safe the Tunisia game, by resorting to the time wasting act. What a patriotic thought and act from a real son of the soil called Nigeria.

Such patriotic action in Britain could have earned Okocha a Queen’s national award (even if the game had been lost and England eventually denied a place in World Cup finals.), just for displaying such high level of loyalty and patriotism.

Paul Gascoigne in the aftermath of 1994 world cup finals got an award from the Queen for crying for Britain, drenched in tears after the match because England lost at the semi final of that year’s world cup.

If only all our political office holders from the presidency to the legislature, from all parastatals to all public office settings uphold the same level of patriotism and commitment to duty course, Nigeria will be a better place, an enviable example to many African countries and even to the world beyond.It is always rewarding to cultivate patriotic sense of commitment serving one’s fatherland, a commitment that has seen Ghana stepping back to her old glory.

Whither Nigeria?
How many of our so called politicians today are ready to sacrifice for Nigeria or for her people? How many are ready to lay down their head so that Nigeria will attain greatness. A great salute to Austin Okocha’s dedication to excellence for his Country, a rare model to many youths of today.

With the above report, Austin Okocha demonstrated his loyalty for his country, his obsession for success, his fascination for attainment and zeal for accomplishment. Okocha has always put Nigeria first and with this, he remains the face of ‘THE TRUE NIGERIAN’

His dictionary has no harbour for failures when it comes to national pride( or is it Nigeria’s pride) as a true Nigerian. In his little way, and in his area of chosen career, Okocha has taught all of us that what we need is a major attitudinal change towards our country; a determination to aim well and  achieve for our country rather than sucking away what our country has achieved or waiting to achieve.

We have been taught to put our country first in everything that we do and give no chance to failure. With this, we can create a chance for those coming generations, giving a chance to posterity so that they can have a place to call their own as we of today say we belong to Nigeria.

It is the only way to salvage the impending doom of disintegration. It may not be an over saying that racial, religious political, ethinc and even economic catastrophie stare at us in the face. When we adopt a patriotic posture then, the labours of our heroes past will not be in vain. We surely will guarantee a very prosperous future especially for the coming generations.

Who needs rebranding when all we need is commitment to our fatherland the same way Okocha has committee himself to Nigerian course.  Our political leadership has been taught the best way forward at rebranding Nigeria, not through the commitment of billions of Naira which we all know may never yield result and may never be accounted for.