By Balogun Rilwan Adetayo

Vibrant, smart, energetic, robust, listening and flexible, Shehu Dikko ticks the boxes in all manners as a gentleman. Vested with an immense understanding of the Nigerian football setting and a sound know-how in the business of football.

Nigerian football couldn’t have had a better-fitting person at the epicenter of her revolution than the ambitious young, man. In less than three years since being given the mandate to turn our Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) around, Dikko hasn’t just made it a lot more interesting to see, he alongside his army of committed progressives have ensured Nigerian football finally settles as a great and very interesting one.

The years wasted on wastefulness were enormous in Nigerian football. The last man who had quite excellent plans about proper structuring of our football was Chief Oyuiki Obaseki. The Benin high chief, who coincidentally brought Dikko into the fray when he was chairman of the Nigerian Football League (NFL) made a lot of advances towards greatness but the politics that blinded Nigerian football then never made us utilise his wealth of knowledge and stagnancy remained a battle we had to overcome, else, the continuity of our once dwindling fortunes.

As observed, days when our players leave their clubs to sign some slavery contracts in Estonia are over. Nigeria has lost far too many talents to the celebration of some European countries who go on to make these players regulars in their national teams and pay them very comfortably. It is a good feeling to know those days are over- a new Sheriff is in town, a brilliant one at that.

Shehu Dikko and the LMC have brought excitement back to our stadia, of course, there are still some excesses here and there, the present state of Nigerian football represents one of the best that has existed in a long time. Players now sign contract papers and verbal agreements are gradually getting abolished. There is an improved level of discipline all across the league as teams have sought for ways to exonerate themselves when a fracas ensues and have tightened up their securities owing to the heaviness of fines that have been listed for crowd trouble and infringements on the rules that guide conducts.

The marketing brilliance Shehu Dikko has put on display is almost alchemical, turning a league that made next to nothing to one at the beautiful prospect of billions. Now, teams have a reason to compete and national team coaches are more excited to choose from a very talented pool. Teams have been given rich incentives to encourage them to having credible structures and the decision to make every team have an under-15 team is one that is new in Africa. That football fans will have a chance to see kids play is something promising. Super Eagles regulars today and arguably our best two legs, John Obi Mikel and Kelechi Iheanacho were products of the NFF’s catch-them-young programmes with the latter having represented the national team at every level(from u-13 to the Super Eagles) of our football. More of this is desired and the beauty of football seen all across German football started just like this. With good structures and an attachment to the roots. The greatest teams in the world have academies whose pool hardly get dried and in that way cut costs and make money through player sales and loan fees. Nigeria is filled with talents, we can do better!

The LMC have gotten a sponsor for the Nigeria National League(NNL) and that’s close to eldorado in Nigerian football. Within such a short period of time, Dikko and his LMC angels have sought for greatness and are getting it in all respect and with a strong collaboration with their bosses at the NFF, who themselves are filled with young, bright minds, Nigerian football will only get better.

Our continental incongruence will soon be a thing of the past and Nigerian teams will be strong, worthy competitors again, all we need is the faith in this one man, Alhaji Shehu Dikko, the man who has gallantly turned our league of utter struggles to one whose players flex muscles with regular European teams in Spain. It will only take some time before the results start trooping in at full throttle but in the meantime, the Dikko revolution is the beautiful Nigerian dream, all hail Shehu Dikko and his army of Fantasticks. My brief!

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