•He even gave us N10m –Enugu Commissioner
From Petrus Obi, Enugu
At the beginning of this season, Rangers FC of Enugu, after 32 years without any premier league trophy, decided to present their predicament to God. They visited the Adoration ground in Emene where fiery Catholic Priest Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka prayed for them.
Having lifted the trophy last Sunday after a resounding 4-0 victory over visiting Elkanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, the team led by the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Hon. Ndukwe Charles Chuka did not forget their vow to God as they returned to the Adoration ground with thanksgiving.
Chairman of the Enugu Football Association Chief Chidi Ofo Okenwa said “it’s all about commitment; it’s all about promise made, promise kept; it’s about the fact that we went to the altar of grace in the beginning of the season and we told God that if we emerge victorious we would return to give Him praises, glory, honour and adoration.
“At the beginning of the season, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka told us the things we needed to do; he said, dedication, hard work, and seeking the face of the Lord always would see us through. So we decided to go back to that very church to thank God. And if you have followed the series of things that transpired during the year, you will appreciate that actually Rangers won the trophy four times and dropped it four times; and the fifth time we rightly can say, we have found it.
“I can tell you that the hand of God is in everything Rangers has done this season; and Enugu is in the hands of God. Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in the year 2016 has been christened The Cathedral; and what do people do in the cathedral; they worship. And on that fateful day, the match day, the people of God, all lovers of Rangers congregated at the cathedral and worshipped God and God heard their prayers and delivered the trophy to us.”
The Commissioner for Youths and Sports Charles Chuka explained that the visit was not actually to see Fr. Mbaka; “we went to Adoration Ministry to tell God that what we have been asking Him to do for us He has done it. And before the Match we had with Enyimba that was before March, we had to go there with the whole team. First of all I went there on my own and after discussing with Fr. Mbaka I told him the team was coming there. We went there he prayed for us, anointed all the players; incidentally as we were going for that match, I don’t know what happened; maybe something touched him; he went to the express and was looking for them. He had to meet them on the road; gave them money to eat and they went on. Remember that match, it was a very tough one and we got a draw. If we had lost that match it would have been bad for us; so we needed at least a draw. So God did that for us and sustained us. I also remember one thing; each time we have a very crucial match; in fact the last four matches we played, his boys will be calling me to say that father is inside the chapel and would not come out until the match is over; they will keep asking to know when the game is over. After the match Fr. Mbaka will still call at night and say ‘we thank God for everything.’ So we took it upon ourselves and said that if God gives us the trophy we would go and thank him; that’s what we did; we went with a cow and he then hosted us and gave us N10m. He also gave a decoder, each to all the players.
The commissioner noted that Mbaka has always been with the team; “during our visit he said there was a federations cup final they were playing outside Enugu and he went with them. He got there and so many things were happening; people were doing some fetish things and he took his bags and left; they lost that match 2-0. He considered attending the last match but to avoid a stampede, should his followers surge to see him. But he urged his entire congregation to go for the match and to pray for Rangers.”
The commissioner attributed the victory to God, saying; “even the people who contested against us… the commissioner in Rivers State called me and said, this is an act of God. Even on the day we were playing Ikorodu FC at Abeokuta the Rivers State Commissioner for Sports left his match against Akwa United and came for that match. If it were for money some teams like Ifeanyi Ubah would have carried the trophy. So for us it is God and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who did all manner of motivation; there are things we may not see that he may have also done too. He was a morale booster and spurred the boys on until victory was achieved.”