Diary of a mad journo- Death before Climax


By Nduka Orjinmo

So what was turgid enough and peaking to be an orgasmic end to the Nigerian Premier league has now withered and weakened that the champion is to be crowned in the boardroom-albeit still behind closed doors fit for organsm-.

Were the NPL a man and such misfortune placed on his manhood where his prestige and reputation has been smeared-albeit still behind closed doors-three options would have been sought- A visit to the traditional medicine vendors, a trip to his pastor’s house or a call on the doctor.

Experience-not mine-shows that the last option would have been the last option.

Three seems to be the magic number these days in Nigeria football and I’m not talking about the left full back for the Falconets-though she is over eighteen and under twenty-

Three it was the number of men in the committee set up by the Nigeria Premier League to investigate the withdrawal of Ocean Boys from the league, three it is the number of journalist who gave the NPL 48hrs to implement the rule book or face legal action.

Three plus one is the number of games Ocean Boys have missed all season, three minus one the number they should have missed consecutively to be thrown out and three plus one the number with which Kano Pillars is now leading Lobi Stars.

Three it was the number of clubs involved in that tight fight at the top for the crown and three the number of clubs that will join Ocean Boys in the lower division.

On a broader scale in football, three is the number of substitutes used in an NPL game, the number referees present on the field in the league and the number of lumps Taribo West always tied his hair into.

So what is really in the number three?
The Christian Holy Trinity
• Three people (including Jesus) were crucified at the Crucifixion
• The realms of the afterlife: Heaven, Hell and Purgatory
• The Wise Men who visited Jesus after His birth left Him three gifts.
• The Buddha has three bodies.
• Luck, especially bad luck, is often said to "come in threes"
• 3 is the number of witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Inside the Lobi Stars canteen

Lobi Stars’ run to the final of the Federations cup and eventual finish as runners-up, marked with a final and genuine push for the Premier League title, has struck me as quite intriguing.

How they have been able to conserve energy in what has been a grueling season to ferment just at the right time is of particular interest to me.

A team situated in the heart of Makurdi where the word fermentation is more popular than Goodluck Jonathan, they lie in second position on the table behind Kano Pillars.

So what is it that makes Lobi tick? How were they able to stay on the tail of the top campaigners and suddenly find that freshness to compete on both fronts?

Could it be the meal?

A short documentary on Lobi Stars and how well feed should feature David Tyavkase brandishing whatever it is they eat.

The former Enyimba man has grown in bounds since joining the Makurdi side, his presence more felt in the team canteen that on the pitch.
Famous for their agricultural prowess with yam as their staple, there is no need to look further for their stamina and strong endurance threshold.

The Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt fed on yam throughout his growing days and the result is there for all to see.

The more starchy variation of the Gboko Yam has perhaps been the catalyst for Lobi.

Ask Shuaibu Amodu and his all conquering BBC Lions of yore and he will tell you that centered in the heart of the yam production industry was like playing legally with a banned substance.

If the argument arises that other clubs in the country are domiciled in communities that produce yam, with Victor Ezeji (Ezeji means king of yam) pointed as a living and scoring testimony, then the debate should be about the protein served in the Lobi canteen.

Not the edible animals of the waters this time, but the terrestrial crawlers.

The classic advice for those visiting Makurdi for the first time is to avoid meat.

Whether it is prepared in your presence or not, avoid. The extremist will tell you to even turn vegetarian as soon as you step foot in Benue. But that is where they miss it as it could be the secret of this Lobi side.

Rodents.

Notorious for its penchant for rodents, the city has over time and generations lost the classification for that class of animals.

All crawling terrestrials of that breed are grouped together, the distinction coming in their weight on the scale and not variety.

That is left for the spices. So you will find that Squirrels, Mice, Rats and Shrew’s by this classification are labeled as one and what follows for one obtainable for the other. So if the Squirrel is edible, then the rat is, then the shrew is.

All fall under the same family, if one is to be eaten then why discriminate against the other?

Then comes the defining trait of the city, its love for liquor. The fact that the NPL does not have an Olympic standard drugs testing facility makes me wonder what Lobi players could be living on at the moment.

As a matter of curiosity, I would love to see them take a test just to enable us plot a chart for the water: blood: alcohol ration in their systems. Where the scale will be tipped, I’m sure will be as one-sided as a Chinese election.

In the absence of a laboratory, I suggest a breathalyzer be brought in before any league or cup match of Lobi.

Two years ago, a general strike was called in the state because the state House of assembly got the boldness from somewhere to illegalize the public consumption and sales of the local liqueur called Burukutu. A boycott of the league may just be called by the club if that breathalyzer is brought in.

Away from the club canteen, whispers have been heard of the operational manner of the title-less Dominic Iorfa.

For the sake of clarification, he should be referred to as Lobi Stars because of his stature in the club.

The deity of Iorfa stands in the same shade as the liqueur or meat of the city, he has reached that level.

Vice-chairman, coach, technical-adviser, physiotherapist, curator, masseur, substantive captain and club bus driver. His influence on the team is enormous and the impact for all to see.

Lobi Stars never complain of owed bonuses, unpaid sign-on-fees, broken down bus or players disaffection.

All these, testimonies of how he runs the club-like a Chinese factory mass-producing ceramic plates.

The regimentation is legendary, nobody falls out of line, nobody complains, there is no one to take your case to.

How he was able to rally his troop for this last charge on both fronts, when other clubs have been blown away by internal wrangling and disenchantment with the cashless nature of the Premier League and Federations Cup, should be a model and fountain for club owners and administrators.

You can follow Nduka Orjinmo on twitter- @orjinmonduka
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