December, 25 2022.
Stamped by the Senior Advocate of Nigeria Journalists Worldwide.
Never in the history of Nigeria Sports has the Nation celebrated a man whose passion cuts across religious, ethnic, tribal and racial sentiments. Never in the history of Nigeria Sports has anyone contributed his money, passion, emotions and love without asking for favours in return.
Over three decades ago, chief Kashimawo Olawale Abiola MKO, flourished in this fame, largely because of his philanthropic gestures and his love for Nigeria Sports.
About two decades ago, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu took over from where MKO stopped, after helping Enyimba of Aba to win back to back CAF Champions league. His exploits on and off the field endeared him to many and got him the desired accolades.
Before the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa, the first northerner with a deep passion for sports was born. Alhaji Aminu Kurfi Balele came out from the blues. As a former staff of the federal Ministry of youth and sports development, he never hide his love for sports but the philanthropist in him only became public knowledge in 2012, during the buildup to the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa.
Every time he visited the Super Eagles Camp, he left them happier than he met them. Every visit had a promise and with it, comes the largesse.
He was the greatest motivation behind a team that went, saw and conquered at the 2013 AFCON in Soutn Africa.
Balele was again at the forefront of the fundraising campaign ahead of the Super Eagles glorious outing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He made promises for goals scored and fulfilled all promises without losing an hair.
Since then, many have started taking this Katsina state born sport administrator seriously.
As part of his well documented historical exploits, it is on record that Balele paid for chattered flights that conveyed players and officials of the Super Eagles to world and Nations cup qualifiers at a time when the NFF was struggling with finances.
He has also bailed Nigeria out of precarious situations, putting smiles on the faces of players and officials of the various youth national teams when the need arises.
He also championed the clamor for a new dawn for Nigeria football, by appealing to the players union to enter into a peace agreement with 26 FA Chairmen, a process that saw to the rebirth of Nigeria football and the exit of the authoritarian leader, Amaju Melvin Pinnick as NFF president.
No wonder, when Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau assumed office as president of Nigeria football, he wasted no time in confirming this astute football administrator and passionate follower of the National teams, as chairman of the youth football taskforce, a three man committee set up to secure financial and moral support for the various youth national teams.
Ever since that appointment, Dan Arewa as he is popularly called by admirers, has given over 200m Naira to support players and officials of the various youth national teams.
He has shown up when it truly matters and his influence has brought life back to Nigeria football.
On this auspicious ocassion of his birthday, the Senior advocate of Nigeria Journalists SAJ, in the Diaspora, Adewale Ajayi, is proud to confer on Alhaji Aminu Kurfi Balele, the title of PILLAR OF SPORTS IN AFRICA.
This title is given to you this day, in celebration of your birthday which coincides with the birth of our lord Jesus Christ and also serves as a stamp of your leadership and dominance in the Nigeria sporting circle.
We say HIP HIP HIP! HURRAY to a great man. God bless your new age.