Sport Recorder

Rangers Join Obi In Boston

Sports Recorder edition
October 17, 2022
By Emeka OBASI

Boston holds an important place in United States’ History for it was from there that seeds for the American Revolution germinated. Peter Obi stormed the town recently and enjoyed tea break with Enugu Rangers Veterans.

The Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773 announced a new world power. The US began the process of independence from Britain. Obi and his Obedients are trying to build a New Nigeria. Landing in Boston sounded like a spiritual exercise.

Vincent Okechukwu Chika won the African Winners Cup with the Flying Antelopes in 1977. Some members of that squad live in the United States and they have a powerful Union of Ex – Rangers stars.

Ignatius Ilechukwu, Nnamdi Anyafo, Alex Nwosu, Sam Onyeaka, Arthur Ebunam, Emma Merenini and Charles Adimora, all reside in the US.

Rangers Veterans are legion there. Dominic Ezeani, Godwin Ogbueze, Okey Ozo, Donald Igwebuike, Chibuzo Ehilegbu,Charles Okoye, Ikechukwu Ofoje, Francis and Benjamin Okaro, Azuka Habor, Totty Okoro Totty, the list is long.

Chika, popularly known as Macbeth, appeared with a band of Rangers die hards wearing specially designed white T – shirts for the occasion.

Chimamanda Adichie was there and mingled with the Flying Antelopes as they received the Labour Party presidential candidate.

Macbeth said : ” I couldn’t think of a better way to support Peter Obi than to put on his inherited football team’s hat that says Enugu Rangers”.

Obi and the Coal City team have come a long way. As governor of Anambra State between 2006 and 2014, he initiated the tradition of appointing a Rangers Veteran as Special Adviser on Sports.

It began with Nnamdi ‘ Camel’ Nwokocha. When Nwokocha passed on, Arthur Ebunam filled that position. As Obi was leaving he asked his successor, Willy Obiano, to continue with that policy.

Obiano did not fail. He chose Emmanuel Okala. It is expected that Chukwuma Soludo will continue from where his predecessors stopped.

Obi has not stopped supporting the Flying Antelopes. He pays monthly allowance to 73 old Rangers players, irrespective of tribe, tongue and State of origin.

Even in death, the Labour Party flag bearer does not forsake the Rangers family. When Okey Isima passed away in 2013, Obi followed his younger brother, Ndubuisi Isima, a former Flying Eagle, bumper to bumper.

While some politicians told Ndu that they would only support the funeral if Obi was kept away, the younger Isima briefed the then governor regularly.

At the end, Okey Isima was given state burial. Obi was there in Abba, Nsugbe, to pay his last respects. For over four hours, he was all over the place, with drinks and all kinds of support. Some visitors mistook him for the Master of Ceremony.

Obi sent his Sports Commissioner, Chinwe Anowai to Abatete when Emeka Onyedika died in 2010. Dominic Ezeani was honoured to see the former governor at his mother’s burial in Agulu, in 2021. Enugwu Ukwu received Obi following the passage of Nwabueze Nwankwo in 2021.

Mac B Chika sees in Obi the best man for the job of President in 2023.

” Obi’s time in Boston was overwhelmingly fruitful. He came bonding with old and new faces and emphasising why he wants to be president of Nigeria.

” Obi came tendering his resume for evaluation by Nigerians in Boston. He is rated above expectations as the best qualified to be president. No signs of fatigue. He stood straight, laying his plans, one after the other,” Chika told me.

The former player believes in the Nigeria Project and sees Obi as one candidate that can cement national cohesion.

Chika’s son Okechukwu, Jnr. got married to Funlola Are, daughter of Lagosian, Iyiola Are in Houston last March.

Going down memory lane he regaled me with stories from the Dennis Memorial Gramm Iar School, Onitsha years.

“We were simply the best, unbeatable. We were East Central State champions in 1975 and again in 1976. That was my ticket to Rangers, ” Macbeth said.

The DMGS team was captained by Nnamdi Anyafo, known at the time as Waskey. By the time he neutralised Segun Odegbami on the way to Rangers continental triumph in 1977, ace commentator Ernest Okonkwo dubbbed the left back, ‘Policeman’.

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