60 Sports Icons By Sports Minister:   Publisher Pastor Sunny Obazu-Ojeagbase Should Be On The  List – By Desmond Ekwueme


Drawing such a list is like appreciating a work of art. It is equally like assessing a candidate in a beauty pageant. It all depends on the viewpoint of the assessor(s)

This is why they say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

Yes, everybody cannot be on the list but going by the criteria for drawing up the list or names which includes successful and iconic sportsmen, administrators and journalists, Yours Sincerely thinks that Pastor Sunny Obazu-Ojeagbase was wrongly, conspicuously and regrettably omitted. Indeed, he should be on the list.

Here is a man who established what many tagged CITADEL OF SPORTS JOURNALISM in Nigeria….the Complete Communications Limited. A company that has groomed the very best of sports journalists.

CCL as the company is known had on it’s stable the first ever all Football Magazine titled COMPLETE FOOTBALL. It is first published in the mid 80s. It is a monthly magazine.

Complete Football later had a sister publication SPORTS SOUVENIR which was a weekly publication entirely devoted to Nigerian Football League.

By 1995, CCL came up with the first ever all sports daily newspaper . Shortly after CS as it is famously referred to hit the newsstand, CCL came up with COMPLETE FOOTBALL EXTRA (CFE) which was then published every Wednesday.

CFE was to serve the demand of readers who find themselves between the daily news coverage of and the League coverage of Sports Souvenir.

CFE was purely for human angle stories cum features and special interviews of sports personalities. It digs out the unknown parts of stars and administrators.

Complete Football Magazine will later go international with a French edition which satisfies the interest and curiosity of the Francophone readers across the continent.

But before Complete Football International (CFI) Magazine which also had a French edition  will hit the newsstand, there was the International Soccer Review (ISR) which caters for readers with interests in European or world Football. It was Africa’s own version of World Soccer.

These publications individually and collectively set the tone for sports revolution in the country which resulted in Nigeria’s first ever World Cup qualification in USA ’94. The CCL family followed and covered every of Super Eagles game….from camping to the tournament in America and onwards.

The Super Eagles were equally followed and covered individually and collectively from their respective clubs in Europe to their homes…down to national team camps and finally to competitions proper.

The Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the All Africa Games, Athletics Classics, high profile boxing bouts and Tennis Opens across the globe among others…not forgetting of course, our own National Sports Festivals were given detailed coverage to celebrate the champions and as well encourage upcoming talents. CCL reporters even helped coaches and sports federations to hunt and discover talents in the course of their duties.

Till date is still the undisputed No. 1 sports daily in the country. It is this publication that attracted the emergence of rival publications which are all currently doing well in the market cum newsstand.

It is therefore, rather unfortunate that the panel or committee set up by the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare which drew the list of the 60 sports icons omitted the name of Pastor Sunny Obazu-Ojeagbase who was a leading light on the sports desk of The Guardian newspaper some decades ago before going solo to help develop sports through his publications and foresight.

Desmond Ekwueme was a former staff at and also worked at SportsDay Newspaper.

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