With their signature infectious drumming and singing spree, the Nigerian Football Supporters' Club will always be on call to electrify match venues and cheer up Nigerian national teams whenever such teams play in Ghana, Ghana Chapter Chairman Alhaji Mudashiru Babalola tells MARTIN-LUTHER C. KING, in Accra.
He assures that his members will leave no stone unturned to give the necessary moral support to ginger such teams to play even better.
Q: Kindly tell us what the Nigerian Football Supporters' Club-Ghana Chapter is all about?
A: The Nigeria Football Supporters' Club-Ghana Chapter is all about supporting Nigerian national teams, from scratch to the Super Eagles. We support all the football teams, including the female football teams. Sometimes, we even support non-football sports which Nigerians participate in, all in the interest of Nigerian sports.
Q: How many members do you have currently? What support do you get from the National Association of Nigerian Students-Ghana?
A: We have over 2000 members across Ghana, in all the regions of Ghana. In fact, we have so many supporters that if we have the necessary logistics, a stadium cannot even contain us.
Q: How does your support help determine the outcome of a particular sports competition?
A: You know, when our sports men and women see us in the stadium, especially our football players, they feel charged up, because we electrify the stadium atmosphere with our drumming and singing. Our drumming and singing give them moral support; and, whether playing home or away, that also assures them that their people are behind them, thereby gingering them to play even better.
Q: How long has the chapter been in existence?
A: We have chapters all over the world, with our international headquarters, which is headed by our president-general (popularly known as PG) Dr. Rafiu Oladipo, in Lagos, Nigeria. We have this chapter, the Ghana chapter; we also have chapters in Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso,Togo, South Africa, and all over the world. There is no country where you find Nigerians that you will not find the Nigerian Football Supporters' Club.
Q: Tell us about yourself?
A: My name is Alhaji Mudashiru Babalola. I have been in the supporters' club since it was established in 1997. And, since then we have done a lot; we have travelled around the world to support Nigerian teams. We've even helped our Ghanaian brothers to establish their own supporters' club. We've done a lot. Personally, as a chairman, I have done a lot. We have been supporting ourselves. I am not the first chairman; the first chairman is Mr. Rahman Ojo, who is now late. But since I became chairman, I have been using my personal money to finance the club's activities, with help from the Nigerian High Commission in Accra, which sometimes provides us with some logistics. And, we wish to commend the High Commission for that.
Q: Do you have any final words?
A: We want to use this opportunity to thank all Nigerians who came out to support our Super Falcons; their support helped us get the result we needed, which was to qualify from that stage to the next, with the goals aggregate of 2-1. Nigerians who are interested in football, and in supporting it, should come and join us; our doors are open at any time for any Nigerian, and even non-Nigerians, to join us. Recently, we visited the Nigerian High Commission to thank them for the logistics support they gave us during the match the Super Falcons played here in Accra; and, we were received by the deputy high commissioner. We also wish to use this medium to tell them that we have been self-financed since our establishment, and to appeal to them, as well as benevolent Nigerians and organisations to help us with logistics to be able to do more.