Ojo-oba Retires From NSC
Former Director of Federations and Elite Athletes at the National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr Bolaji Ojo-Oba, has acknowledged a former FIFA badged referee, Festus Bolaji Okubule for changing his career path as an interpreter to becoming an astute sports administrator.
He admitted at a valedictory send-forth that his introduction to the late Patrick Okpomo who was the then secretary general of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), paved the way for his employment by the federation.
Ojo-Oba, who joined the NFA in 1989 formally bowed out of service on Wednesday after clocking the mandatory retirement age of 60 years.
He attained the peak of sports administration in various capacities such as; NFF secretary general; Oyo State Sports Commissioner; the Director of Sports Services when Nigeria hosted the All Africa Games (COJA) in 2003; and as General Coordinator and member Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Ojo-Oba, who started his career on a humble note as a school teacher, was employed by the Director of Sports NSC, the late Babayo Shehu, on the recommendation of CAF President, Issa Hayatou, who is also a senior vice president of FIFA.
Ojo-Oba, who showered praises on many former sports ministers, current serving top shots at NSC and the media, for assisting him in his meteoric rise from humble background as a freelance interpreter, to the very height of sports administration in Nigeria.
He met Okubule around 1982 when he was a member of the Nigeria Referees Association and it was the respected arbiter who took him to the late Okpomo who accepted him whole heartedly.
He took his first football employment as a bilingual secretary in 1989 after Hayatou made strong recommendations to Babayo for him to be employed.
Ojo-Oba, who said he had no regrets leaving service, said he nursed no political ambition nor plans to go into farming.
“I don’t know my next move but I want to rest and take my time”.
Ojo-Oba holds a doctorate degree in Organisation and Administration of Sports.
He described Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the African Cup of Nations as one the difficult challenges of life.