43 Years After A Triumph Worth Celebrating, Team Worth Rewarding

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Learning from Nyesom Wike, Kunle Soname, Orji Uzor Kalu and others

After a staggering 43-year trophy drought from a major silverware, the team defied all odds, coming from the second division and captivating fans, the team made history by lifting the oldest trophy in Nigeria football and clinching a continental ticket.

Wednesday, 21st of June 2023, a glorious display of resilience and character from Bendel Insurance etched their names into the chronicles of Edo State’s sporting history by clinching the Federation Cup.

It is evident that the unwavering support and visionary leadership of the state governments have played a pivotal role in the team’s remarkable journey to glory.

Governor Godwin Obaseki and Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, true patrons of sports, have consistently demonstrated their deep commitment to restoring Edo State to where it once was as the Home of Sports. This mandate which led to the formation of the Edo Sports Commission has seen the development and success of the Benin Arsenals, which has now soared to unprecedented heights by claiming the Federation Cup in style.

Through the steadfast backing and relentless pursuit of excellence, the state government has not only transformed the fortunes of Bendel Insurance but has also breathed new life into the sporting landscape of the entire state.

While basking in the glory of this major achievement, this writer urges the state government to take a proactive stance in securing the future of our Bendel Insurance. It is crucial that the State Government recognize the indispensable role the players and coaching staff have played in our team’s success.

As they continue to shine brightly, it is only natural that they attract lucrative offers from other clubs seeking to capitalize on their exceptional talents. To ensure that the club retain her invaluable assets and maintain the cohesive unit that has brought them this far, this writer strongly advocates for a handsome rewards system.

Winning a trophy of such magnitude warrants substantial rewards for the players and the dedicated backroom staff who have toiled tirelessly behind the scenes, after such a feat; this writer believes it is time to turn their words into actions and make the boys truly happy as the state governor can seek this opportunity to crest his name in history.

It is without a doubt that rewarding players and backroom staff handsomely has always enhanced players’ performances for their teams, served as a means of having the stars of the club remain despite mouth-watering deals from other teams as they will be confident that their life is valued and that could only be the main tool to get more from them.

States to Emulate or Outdo
Sports enthusiasts around Nigeria will always remember the name of the former Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, the Working Governor, fondly referred to as Gburugburu of Rivers Land. His support for sports has catapulted Rivers United into the limelight not only in Nigeria but the continent where they got as far as the Quarter final of the CAF Confederations Cup.

No longer governor of the state, Wike’s generosity to players ($20,000 each for making it to the continent as league winners) has left an indelible mark on the lives of the Rivers United team and their supporters, ensuring they will forever remember him as the man with the ‘Capacity Doings.’ It is a legacy that Governor Obaseki can aspire to exceed, elevating Bendel Insurance’s place in Edo State’s sporting landscape.

Most recently, Remo Stars owner, Hon. Kunle Soname (OFR) rewarded players, backroom staff, media team, and supporters club handsomely (#28 million) for securing a continental ticket after finishing as runners-up in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Super Six, how much more a team that renewed the hope of the state – winning two trophies back to back, setting 21-games unbeaten record, winning the FA Cup for the first time in 43 years and returning to the continent after 28 years – I believe in the capacity of the governor and his deputy governor.

Going memory lane, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu is a man many around the world will remember for his generosity and rewards to players who gave the State glorious times. Only a few of them are of Abia State origin, but many of them have become Abia indigenes by rewards of Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu.

To truly reward the heroes of Bendel Insurance, some impactful gestures this writer will suggest is to grant each player and backroom staff member a plot of land within the state and have it named the “Bendel Insurance Estate” – have you thought of how big that will ink your name in the heart of millions? Think about it, your Excellency.

If this can’t be done, these players should be handsomely rewarded financially for their feat – this is what many governors will be envious of and would have prayed to happen in their state. Your Excellency, if this is not done, heaven will not fall, but a lot would be left to say about a state that prides in success but fails to reward the actors

This act of appreciation would not only solidify their commitment to the team but also transform them into honorary indigenes of Edo State.

The prospect of owning a piece of Bendel Insurance Estate, a symbol of the team’s legacy and a testament to their achievements, would resonate deeply with the players, their families, and the ardent supporters of Bendel Insurance. Such a gesture would undoubtedly inspire the Benin Arsenals to remain at the pinnacle of their prowess as they venture into the continental stage.

Celebrating Bendel Insurance goes beyond rewards and material tokens of appreciation. Their success signifies the unwavering spirit of Edo State, the tenacity and passion that have come to define them as the “Heartbeat of the Nation.”

As Governor Obaseki continues to solidify his legacy as the “Wake and See Governor,” it is imperative that he transcends words and demonstrates his commitment to Bendel Insurance. By rewarding their triumph with tangible and heartfelt gestures, he can engrave his name in the hearts of the players, their families, and the loyal supporters who have stood by their side through thick and thin.

The time is now for Governor Obaseki to shine the light on Bendel Insurance and ignite the flame of its continued success, as the “Heartbeat of the Nation” beats louder than ever before.

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