October, 28 2022.
By Wale Ajayi.
He has delivered when it truly matters. He doesn't shy away from responsibilities, he takes up the task and beats all expectations. He is Alhaji Aminu Kurfi, the man many love to call Balele.
As chairman of Katsina United in 2016, Kurfi guided the Changi boys from the NNL back to the NPFL, an achievement that catapulted him to the top of the Rader as the most respected and most accomplished football administrator in the state.
Still basking in the Euphoria of that achievement, Kurfi again, guided Katsina United to the Semi finals of the Aiteo Cup after defeating Kwara United by three goal to one in Lagos, a performance that made him the most beloved son of governor Aminu Bello Masari who confirmed him as one of his special assistants.
It is also on record that on several ocassion, when the NFF got stranded and needed a bailout from difficult situations, Balele had come to their rescue by securing a chattered flight for the Super Eagles to key Nations Cup and World Cup qualifiers. He also played a key role in Nigeria's participation at the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt.
Let's not also forget that at a time when it seem as if all hopes was lost, Dan Arewa as he is fondly called by his admirers, took up the challenge of hosting the best NFF Elective Congress ever. That election took place in Katsina State and saw the emergence of Amaju Pinnick as NFF president for a record second term.
History they say will continue to bear us witness and history has been kind to the Jagaban of Nigeria football who will stop at nothing but excellence at all time.
Before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, he made countless promises to the Super Eagles in their qualification race and fulfilled them all.
During the World Cup proper, he was there again, sharing the dollars to deserving players as Nigeria went out at the Second Round of the competition.
As a member of the NFF technical Committee, he embarked on a self sponsored visit to Spain where he visited injured Super Eagles striker, Sadiq Umar and later Wales, where he met another injured Nigerian international, Jamilu Collins.
These visits came at a time when other football stakeholders were busy lobbying for political offices ahead of the September 30, NFF elective congress.
Now, as chairman of the youth National teams taskforce, set up recently by NFF president Ibrahim Gusau, Balele has not stopped doing what he knows how to do best.
He visited the Under-23 team camp before their departure to Tanzania for the first leg of their Olympic Qualifier and doled out the sum of 20m naira to help secure flight tickets and other logistics for the team ahead of the trip to Tanzania. He also promised the boys 10,000 US dollars for every goal scored in Tanzania.
On arrival from Tanzania and ahead of the second leg tie at the Adamasimgba Stadium in Ibadan, Balele has made even more promises as the Salisu Yusuf led team gets set to fly past their opponents on Saturday in Ibadan.
There can never be anyone with the passion and commitment of Aminu Kurfi Balele to National cause. He takes the bull by the horn and goes all out for results. No wonder everyone in football today, love this Katsina born Jagaban of Nigeria football.