…No Name Change For Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium
Former Nigerian, West Africain and African Champions, Bendel Insurance, yesterday made a historic return to the Nigeria Professional Football League after completing a hat trick at the Nigeria National League play offs, decided in Aba.
Insurance entered the history books as the only team to win all three matches without conceding a goal after beating eternal rivals, Shooting Stars 1-0, on match day three.
Meanwhile, Edo state government has said unequivocally that there is no intention to rename the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin. A statement from the Chief Press Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor, Comrade Ebomhiana Musa says that the name “Samuel Ogbemudia stadium” remains because it is named after the revered late Dr Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia because of his unparallel contributions to sports development in the old Bendel State adding that it will be a disservice for any government to contemplate changing the name.
According to him, this clarification becomes necessary as some traditional and social media platforms misquoted the state deputy governor, Right Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu in a live interview granted the Channels Television on Thursday night. In the euphoria following the promotion of Bendel Insurance football club to the elite division of Nigerian football after over a decade in relegation
Inspired by the presence of Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, who is a registered player, Insurance quickly displayed readiness for business as skipper Charles Omokaro scored the opener in only 15 minutes.
The former African Champions held on to the goal and remained resolute despite the dismissal of Michael Enaruna in the second half.
Interestingly, the Edo side maintained its unbeaten record against their opponents in three matches played in Ibadan, Benin-City and Aba, respectively.
Reacting to the team’s promotion, Chief Coach, Baldwin Bazuaye said: “I feel great. I won trophies as a player and I am happy to help Insurance return to the top flight”.
Omokaro expressed satisfaction with the feat.
“I feel very happy because this is what the people of Edo State have waited for.
“Insurance has been in the lower division for 11 years and now we are back.
“With the assistance of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, we have achieved this feat for Edo people”, he stated.
Relegated at the end of the 2008 season, the famous Insurance struggled for over a decade to swim out of the lower division.
Succour came with the administration of Governor Obaseki, who promised to turn around the fortunes of the team.
Remo Stars claimed a 2-1 win over Delta Force to join Insurance from the Southern Group.
Earlier, Kada City and Gombe United finished as leaders and runners up, respectively, in the Northern Group.
On Thursday, Insurance will contest for the NNL title against Kada City.
Match Day One: Bendel Insurance 3-0 Delta Force
Match Day Two: Bendel Insurance 1-0 Remo Stars
Match Day Three: Bendel Insurance 1-0 Shooting Stars