name is more than an individual identity. Though, forcefully bestowed upon a child during his or her christening, parents that truly know how effective a name can help a child’s posterity would thread with caution before picking a random name out of the blue for their progeny. Some may argue that Western world bears names such as ‘Stone’, ‘Wood’ and ‘Rock’, yet, amount to something in life; but, in Nigeria, one could see a person that bears ‘Blessing’ walking aimlessly like a cursed soul, another that bears ‘Success’ whose life is nothing short of failure, and a man called ‘Wisdom’ acting like a fool.
As much as I want to believe that names have deeper meaning, one should not associate the literal interpretation of words to a name because, names are more spiritually inclined than meet the eye. And, I also believe that what you make of your name (through hard work, dedication, etc.) is what you will get out of it.
Speaking of which, Udom Emmanuel is a typical portrayal of the power that a name shoulders. This man saved Akwa United from a generational curse, anointed them, and led them from grass to glory. For his Deliverance ministry, he has three large prizes to show.
Akwa United are the latest Nigerian Premier League champions, a feat they achieved after quenching inferno of Mountain of Fire (MFM) with a 5-2 trashing. The Uyo club has previously won the FA Cup twice, both times since Emmanuel took over as Governor in 2015.
After dubious promotion to the top flight, Akwa United essentially consigned themselves to Hades in 2007. Calabar Rovers were trounced 13-0 to secure promotion. The Promise Keepers had to wait 30 minutes for the result of a game against Bussdor of Port Harcourt because it was so disgusting.
Bussdor were also vying for promotion, but their hopes were dashed when Akwa United thrashed Calabar Rovers 13-0. It has been difficult for the Canaan City team to reach the top since then. Bussdor, of course, was never the same after that betrayal. They are no longer with us.
Nemesis does not take a nap let alone sleep. Akwa United was facing relegation in 2009. They finished with 48 points, scoring 41 goals and conceding 40. Zamfara United earned 45 points, with 35 goals scored in their favor and 43 goals scored against them. The significance was that both sides were fighting for their lives.
Zamfara played well against Kaduna United at Gusau. The score was 9-0 in favor of the hosts. Kaduna United, the losers, had conceded 35 goals in 37 games prior to the encounter and were unlikely to concede as many goals in the next fixtures.
As a result, Akwa United was relegated, while Zamfara narrowly avoided relegation due to technicalities, having made up for their goal deficits. To make matters worse, Orok Akarandut, the season’s best scorer, was injured while playing for the Uyo squad on a day when he should have been celebrating.
Akarandut scored 17 goals for Akwa United, breaking the previous record of 16 established by Ishaya Jatau in 1990. In the same year, Jatau made his Super Eagles debut at the ECOWAS Cup in Bauchi, and he was a member of the Iwuanyanwu National team, who lost in the semi-finals of a continental competition to Zambia’s Nkana Red Devils.
Akwa United has never won anything before Udom Gabriel Emmanuel became Governor. He recalled his roots as the son of Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang, also known as ‘Ette Teacher.’ The Governor was a Qua Iboe Church (also known as United Evangelical Church) Sunday School instructor.
Udom dropped on his knees. He needed to purify his State. Sports are extremely important to the general public. In prayer, the Governor yelled his name. The name Emmanuel is a Hebrew word that means “God is with us.” It is for this reason that the Orange Boys also yell “the same God…”
The Governor received certain revelations from Abasi (God); the first year of Udom Emmanuel’s administration in 2015, Akwa United won the FA Cup. Udom became a Prophet as a result of this; Paul Bassey was his choice for the job. Also, In 2017, Akwa United clinged the FA Cup. The Governor climbed the mountain in 2020, remembering that he had come from Zenith Bank, and he saw from the summit; while praying for Deliverance, the Governor requested God for a miracle.
As a coach, Kennedy Boboye was chosen. Mfon Udoh’s presence as an experienced player was greatly felt and appreciated. Soon, we will be able to link all of these names.
Boboye has a knack for breaking curses. Plateau United won the league, and Akwa United won the FA Cup for the second time in 2015. It was the first occasion in 45 years that a Jos-based side has triumphed in the Premier League. Since 1972, the soccer gods have had a grudge against Mighty Jets.
In 1972, the Jets were proclaimed champions in an improbable fashion. Rangers and Jets were deadlocked until the last games, although the Flying Antelopes had a 7-goal lead. In Bauchi, the Jets faced Wunti, with the first-half ending in a 1-1 tie. That year, Wunti had not lost a game at home.
The Jets added 7 more goals in the second half to win 8-1. The significance was that they had technically passed Rangers. Enugu, on the other hand, had reason to be optimistic. They were set to face Octopus of Port Harcourt, whom they had defeated 5-1 on the road.
The Army team remained on the sidelines. Rangers were handed the game with no goals as an advantage by the NFA. In 1972, the Mighty Jets were crowned league winners in this manner. It took a Simon in Lalong to tell the soccer gods that Jets and Plateau United were not the same team.
Plateau United Feeder team thrashed Akurba FC 79-0 on July 8, 2013, according to the remarks of the gods. The first half finished with a 7-0 score. It was so egregious that Akurba’s captain, Arijide Saeed Timothy, scored three own goals in the National League play-off.
In 2014, Mfon Udoh was hot with Enyimba. Dolphin had not lost in either of the previous three FA Cup finals. With the first goal, he put a halt to it. Enyimba came out on top 2-1. Emem Eduok, the first player to score at Uyo Stadium, scored for the Dolphins.
With 23 goals, Udoh led the team in scoring that season. With a total of 20 points, Eduok came in second. Al- Hidd was the club Akarandut joined which was in Bahrain. In 2009, he moved on to CS Sfaxien in Tunisia
This was how Udom rose through the ranks to become a General Overseer of the round leather game in Akwa Ibom State. Paul Bassey, a church elder and veteran journalist, was one of the people he brought with him. They set out in search of Udoh, recruited Boboye, and discovered Akarandut. As Holy Ghost fire failed Mountain of Fire, the same God of Bussdor pardoned Akwa United.
With the above, the name ‘Emnanuel’ really played a part in Udom’s administration from politics to sports and what have you.