Friday, February 17, 2006


(A chess champion and veteran of Nigerias Chess Olympiad).

Congratulations to the chairman of the Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) on his contribution to this excellent effort by a real legend of chess development in Nigeria, my good friend, Kunle.

I would like to use this forum to comment on another great legend and hero of chess in Africa and indeed the whole world and express my disappointment at his absence from the administration of international chess.

Mr. Emmanuel Omuku was a mentor to me and many chess players not only in our chess development but also in our personal life - helping us to progress in both. Nobody I can imagine exceeds "Manny" or "chairman" as he was referred to fondly by chess players as an ambassador or representative of Nigerian sports.

He is very kind, extremely hardworking and has an extensive background as a diplomat and sports leader. Mr. Omuku can be said to be a man who has walked among Kings and been a close confident of President's of countries. A trained lawyer and member of the Nigeria Bar Association. There could be no better representative of sports in the Olympic committee from Nigeria.

I personally feel Mr. Omuku should be the countries external affairs minister. He has a great ability to bring out the best image of Nigerians in the face of our negative international reputation. I have many times just been amazed at what he has been able to achieve for my country. I have to give you a little background on this man called Omuku for those of you who may not know him.

Omuku graduated from the University of Lagos with a degree in Law. He was the Nigerias representative to the world junior championship when he was a student at Federal Government College, Warri. This is a gentleman who attended one of the best schools our country had and also developed a polish and intelligence that instantly demands respect from people of all nations.

Mr. Omuku is a leader. His leadership positions include been chairman of the Nigeria Chess Federation, Deputy President of the World Chess Federation in charge of Africa, Executive Director of the World chess Federation and Chief of staff to the President of the World Chess Federation who is also President of one of the Russian Federation and a Billionaire. He was sole administrator and signatory to his multi-million dollar trust fund. By this, I mean this man is not corrupt.

I knew Mr. omuku when he was secretary and legal adviser to the ministry of sports. How can someone say that chess not been part of the Olympic, he is not qualified to represent Nigeria in the Olympic committee. I disagree strongly. No one is better qualified than Mr. Omuku. He is sports in Nigeria and has been an adviser to many sports ministers and international sports figure.

With a very high level of international recognition and exposure, Mr. Omuku will find common ground and a story to share with every member of the NOC. Nigeria has no man who has shared a part in the development of so many different cultures and peoples around the world.

In 1993 out in South Africa, I ran into Mr. omuku helping to integrate the different races in South Africa in regards to chess. People approached him from the streets with articles from many years ago which had been published in Racist South African back then that said " watch this black man play chess". It was one of the greatest games ever played by Omuku from the world championship qualifying rounds in Portugal ten years earlier. It filled me with pride at being black.

He was my mentor and I learned from him that I was equal to every man out there. I learned from him hard work and organization. My achievements, I owe to his inspiration and chess. It gave me a lift in life and international exposure. There are not many black Airline commanders in the United States. I have been entrusted with the level of responsibility in the most advance nation in the world because of Mr. Omuku's mentorship and Chess. The equipment I fly is worth in excess of $25,000,000 and the lives I carry everyday safely to their destinations are valueless. Chess principles and the ability I developed to analyze ahead guides and contribute to my every decision.

To all the chess players, arbiters and officials, I praise you. Great names like Foladon, Eugene,Odion, Dapsydudu,Dashe, Pauline, Toco, Lovina, Caifais, Ayinla, Benibo,etc. The old school both in Nigeria and overseas we need to get together someday for drinks. Many names I have not mentioned but the list is too long including journalist and many friends of chess.

It is a great honor that Mr. omuku has decided to serve Nigeria once again as he has always done in the OIC. Please make this great man our representative and help make Nigeria great.

Thank you every one and support Mr. Omukus bid for the NOC. Write your local politicians about him. Put out newspaper advertisements about him and lets follow Kunle Elegbedes great leadership and get a true Nigerian hero Mr. Emmanuel Omuku on the Nigeria Olympic Committee.

God bless Nigeria and everyone who labors to make our beautiful country greater. Never despair because our time of greatness is not far away.


Omo Odu'a said...

I started playing Chess again after a number of year's absence. I just wanted to echo the sentiments outlined in this article. Manny intorduced me to Chess when I was 8 years old and he was only 18 years old. I believe he was then the African Junior Champion. This was back in the 70s on one long vacation in Lagos which he would have spent with his senior brother. Even then it was obvious that Chess was this man's passion. I am so proud of him to see his achievements over the years in his chosen passion which I'm afraid he has infected me with. I am now teaching my own children Chess as well so in a way, Manny has become a Chess grandad!!!

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