The League Management Company (LMC) has described the death of Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi as a huge loss to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and the larger football family in the country.
In a tribute to the late football administrator, Shehu Dikko, the LMC Chairman said he had difficulties coming to terms with the news of Ogunjobi’s passing and described him as someone who has played a big role in the nation’s football as a player and an administrator.
Ogunjobi, a former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Secretary General was reported dead on Monday morning in Ibadan. He played for the then IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan, now Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), captaining the team to the finals of the 1984 Africa Champions League which was won by Egypt’s Zamalek FC.
In the words of Dikko, “Chief Ogunjobi is one of the heroes of League football in Nigeria having captained IICC, a traditional club in our league system that stands today as an institution. He also later led the club as an administrator to the CAF Champions League finals before rising to the pinnacle of football administration in the country as Secretary General of the NFF”.
The LMC Chairman also announced that in honour of the fallen football hero, a minute silence would be observed before kick-off at all NPFL Match Day 9 fixtures on Wednesday while players and Coaches are also to wear black armbands as a mark of respect for the dead.
“Ogunjobi in his life time was very passionate about football and while as Osun State FA Chairman, his state did not have a club participating in the NPFL, we always counted on him as one of the sound and effective Match Commissioners. There were hardly any issues in matches he commissioned and we would miss those stabilizing effect he brought to league match venues”, Dikko added.
The LMC Chairman described the late Ogunjobi as a personal friend and colleague having worked with him on the FIFA Goal Project.
Lamenting the sad development, Dikko said, “0n a personal note, this is a huge loss to me as I worked closely with Cheif Ogunjobi when he was the General Secretary of the NFF and I was the Project Manager of the FIFA Goal Project in Nigeria in 2004. I leant quite a lot from my close association with Cheif Ogunjobi which helped shape a lot of my future endavours in football administration. Ogunjobi will forever remain dear”.
Dikko extended condolences to Mr. Lanre Ogunjobi, a member of the Ogunjobi family, “who is also one of our trusted and hardworking staff at the LMC… we stand with him in this moment of grief”.
…As NFF Join Mourners Of Ogunjobi
The Nigeria Football Federation has expressed utter shock at the death on Monday of former NFF Secretary General and one –time Member of the NFF Executive Committee, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi.
Reports on Monday morning said the 66 –year old former international defender passed on after a brief illness.
“I cannot find the words as much as I try. A very big tree has fallen in Nigerian Football and we are all devastated. If the NFF had a flag of its own, it would fly at half mast for several weeks.
“Chief Ogunjobi was one of the strongest pillars of association football in Nigeria and the entire Nigerian Football fraternity will miss him badly. The Members of the NFF Executive Committee, Management and Staff of the NFF, Members of the Congress, eminent football stakeholders and other workers in football in these shores are in shock,” President of the NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, said on Monday.
Ogunjobi, an ebullient and respected football administrator, captained the first set of Nigerian academicals to defeat the Ghanaian academicals in the early 1970s and was a key member of then IICC Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan before he travelled to the United States of America for further studies. This was the reason he was not part of the IICC’s Africa Cup Winners Cup –winning squad of 1976.
He returned to Nigeria a few years later, and was a member of the young Green Eagles’ squad that Chief Adegboye Onigbinde coached to win the silver medals of the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.
It was time to make his mark in administration, as he won plaudits and fame managing IICC Shooting Stars and Julius Berger FC of Lagos at various times, before becoming the Secretary General of then Nigeria Football Association in 2002. He was in the position for three years.
Fondly nicknamed ‘Skippo,’ Ogunjobi, in 2006, won election into the Board of the Nigeria Football Federation, under the presidency of Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi, and served meritoriously as Chairman of the Technical Committee.
In 2014 and 2018, Ogunjobi vied for the NFF presidency. It was a mark of the man (a gentleman, a true sportsman and a genuine association football man) that though he lost on both occasions, he accepted the result in good faith each time, embraced the winner, retained his dignity and co-operated with the winner and the board to strengthen association football in Nigeria.
Until his death, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi was the Chairman of Osun State Football Association.