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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:46 pm 
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Late Chief Lekan Salami:Twenty Years On



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Published: 2008-03-15 11:51:12

It is twenty years this week that my football mentor, Chief Lekan Salami, passed on! His was one death that touched the very core of my being when it happened. How could I forget the role he played in my football career?

Chief Lekan Salami, with the help of his good friend, Mr. Ajayi a retired engineer with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria in Ibadan, convinced me to leave Housing Corporation in Ibadan, not to be afraid of Niyi Akande whose position I was going to take up, and come to join the Shooting Stars team of that period being assembled.

During that period Chief Salami was recruiting a whole new generation of players that included Taiwo Ogunjobi, Muda Lawal, Kunle Awesu, Sunday Akande, most of us just turning twenty at the time.

With his guidance of the affairs of the team he turned it in two years into one of the most formidable teams of that era both in Nigeria and the African continent.

Chief Lekan Salami became known all over Africa for his passion for the game and his love for the Shooting Stars Football Club which he founded!

He was one man players wanted to play for. He loved the game so passionately that he infected all the players in his team with the can-win spirit!

His death, very premature at the time, was a great blow to the Shooting Stars team and Nigerian football as a whole. His shoes have been too big to fill till this day.

I remember him this week with great nostalgia and use this opportunity to align with the family as they draw up activities, I hope, to mark his remembrance.
Continue to rest in peace Great Chief!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:02 pm 
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Is it true that he wasnt really educated.

Somebody used to joke about this that enytime IICC had a big match and journalist will interview him, asking: Chief, what do you think will happen in 2moro's game?

Chief: We sall beat them. Baba Eleran to so be. ( Baba Eleran has said so).

From there the interview turns to Yoruba.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:57 am 
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Lekan Salami: 20th Anniversary
The full page advert in the Nigerian Tribune of last Thursday was more of a reminder of the ingratitude of a society that received so much from a football administrator, but gave little, 20 years after this death.


Neither did his home base, the Ibadan football fraternity, the Oyo State Football Association nor the Nigeria Football Association who benefited from the 1976 Shooting Stars African Cup Winners Cup victory, did anything to remember a man who devoted his entire life to the cause of football.


If Nigeria were fortunate enough to have another Chief Lekan Salami, our football would not be in the sorry state it is today. Some may argue that the likes of Lekan Salami sowed the seed of one-club domination which seems pervasive all over the country today.


During his life time, Salami gave everything he had to ensure that the Shooting Stars were the best in the country, to the extent that local rivalry in Ibadan and the entire Western Region, was driven into oblivion.


To a large degree he succeeded such that Shooting Stars rivals, the Housing Corporation, the Water Corporation went down under, and the Leventis United, Ibadan which came much later, were treated as strangers in Ibadan, and eventually packed up. Lekan Salami’s football logo has become the trend all over Nigeria. In most States, you find only one dominant club, the rest are cannon fodders.


Salami, who died at the age of 60, was not known to be a footballer of note, but had the incredible gift of spotting a football talent thousand of miles away. He was responsible for luring Segun Odegbami from the Housing Corporation to WNDC just as he was instrumental in recruiting Taiwo Ogunjobi, Muda Lawal, Kunle Awesu and others.


Even after the Shooting Stars had won the African Cup Winners Cup in 1976, Lekan Salami’s appetite for good players remained insatiable. We went to Kaduna for the third National Sports Festival in 1977, he saw Felix Owolabi in action for Kaduna State, and in no time, the Ibadan soccer warlord had grabbed him.


His tentacles spread across the west coast of Africa and some of the Ghanaian greats Joseph Appiah, Sam Abossey, Phillip Boamah, Sam Ashante who played for the Shooting Stars were the handiwork of Lekan Salami.


But there was one great Ghanaian footballer, perhaps the greatest, who Salami, offered a blank cheque, but refused to join the Shooting Stars. He is Nigerian/Ghanaian Abdul Rasak, the Golden Boy of Ghana’s football, and former African Footballer of the Year.


Lekan Salami was a consummate and passionate football person. He took every player like his son, related to them as a father and sometimes shared in their dream and fantasy.
One day as the Shooting Stars lined up for a crucial match, the Chief called Muda Lawal aside and asked: “Muda, can’t you tear the net with your shot?”


Today when football has become a kind of mini war, all over the country, nothing like that existed in the days of Lekan Salami. As emotionally attached to the Shooting Stars of Ibadan, Salami was appointed a Patron of their biggest rivals, Rangers International of Enugu as well as by the Mighty Jets of Jos.


Thus there was intense rivalry among the top clubs in the country, but hooliganism was kept at bay. Lekan Salami was good to football, football was equally good to him, even kinder as it made him very popular, enhanced his modest trading business at Gbagi and brought him into contact with top government officials who greased his business all the way.


He was a flashy dresser whose taste for customised open roof vehicles made him the most famous person in Ibadan. In life, Lekan Salami was slightly controversial, in death, even more so. The 20th remembrance advert of last Thursday said he “died when he was preparing for a football outing with the Shooting Stars Football Club at Ilorin, Kwara State.”


But impeccable sources said he died in a road accident on the Ring Road, Ibadan. Another issue surrounds his role in the birth of the Shooting Stars. Some erroneously claim that he was the Founder of the club, including Segun Odegbami in his column last Saturday, but categorically, Chief Lekan Salami was not the founder of the Shooting Stars.


WNDC Sports Club, was founded by the expatriate partners of the Western Nigeria Development Corporation in the late 1950s as a multi sports club. Chief Lekan Salami in the 1960s became a political appointee, as Director of WNDC and with his interest in the Ibadan District Amateur Football Association (IDAFA) he devoted his love to the football arm of WNDC.


He was NOT the founder. A good many who should know, like Chief Laniyonu, Prince Adewole Adesida, Chief Yemi Akinpelu, Alhaji Ghani Kola Balogun, have passed on, but there are still others who know, and in the interest of the truth and posterity, I should speak up.


I challenge Chief Emiola Adesina, Chief Femi Olukanmi, Sir Kola Adegbola and Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, even though he is a cricket buff, to help throw light on the issue. Finally, while I commend the family of Chief Lekan Salami for remembering their departed hero, twenty years after, I think he deserves a lot more by the Nigerian society

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:46 pm 
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anointed wrote:
Is it true that he wasnt really educated.

Somebody used to joke about this that enytime IICC had a big match and journalist will interview him, asking: Chief, what do you think will happen in 2moro's game?

Chief: We sall beat them. Baba Eleran to so be. ( Baba Eleran has said so).

From there the interview turns to Yoruba.


Hmmm....I will comment on this later

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:41 am 
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Chief, thanks for all you did in your life time, for the game of soccer and for mankind,continue to rest in peace,

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:41 pm 
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Toxicarrow wrote:
anointed wrote:
Is it true that he wasnt really educated.

Somebody used to joke about this that enytime IICC had a big match and journalist will interview him, asking: Chief, what do you think will happen in 2moro's game?

Chief: We sall beat them. Baba Eleran to so be. ( Baba Eleran has said so).

From there the interview turns to Yoruba.


Hmmm....I will comment on this later


Nope...you are wrong. Chief Lekan Salami is not like that. Yes, at times, he changed to Yoruba because he loved to talk with the hard-core Yoruba proverbs like MKO Abiola.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:02 pm 
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anointed wrote:
Is it true that he wasnt really educated.

Somebody used to joke about this that enytime IICC had a big match and journalist will interview him, asking: Chief, what do you think will happen in 2moro's game?

Chief: We sall beat them. Baba Eleran to so be. ( Baba Eleran has said so).

From there the interview turns to Yoruba.


Nope...you are wrong. Chief Lekan Salami was not like that. The man was educated. Yes, at times, he changed to Yoruba because he loved to talk with the hard-core Yoruba proverbs like MKO Abiola.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:18 pm 
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Toxicarrow, let me have your e-mail addy so I can forward the current Professional League table to you.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:22 pm 
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sunshinestar wrote:
Toxicarrow, let me have your e-mail addy so I can forward the current Professional League table to you.


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Last edited by Toxicarrow on Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:43 pm 
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Toxicarrow wrote:
anointed wrote:
Is it true that he wasnt really educated.

Somebody used to joke about this that enytime IICC had a big match and journalist will interview him, asking: Chief, what do you think will happen in 2moro's game?

Chief: We sall beat them. Baba Eleran to so be. ( Baba Eleran has said so).

From there the interview turns to Yoruba.


Nope...you are wrong. Chief Lekan Salami was not like that. The man was educated. Yes, at times, he changed to Yoruba because he loved to talk with the hard-core Yoruba proverbs like MKO Abiola.


Interesting. At least I know more on LS than I used to know.

BTW, was he the one referred to as Eruobodo? Or was one of those people that got Ibadan the Wild Wild West pseudonym?

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For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding...hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:50 pm 
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anointed wrote:
Toxicarrow wrote:
anointed wrote:
Is it true that he wasnt really educated.

Somebody used to joke about this that enytime IICC had a big match and journalist will interview him, asking: Chief, what do you think will happen in 2moro's game?

Chief: We sall beat them. Baba Eleran to so be. ( Baba Eleran has said so).

From there the interview turns to Yoruba.


Nope...you are wrong. Chief Lekan Salami was not like that. The man was educated. Yes, at times, he changed to Yoruba because he loved to talk with the hard-core Yoruba proverbs like MKO Abiola.


Interesting. At least I know more on LS than I used to know.

BTW, was he the one referred to as Eruobodo? Or was one of those people that got Ibadan the Wild Wild West pseudonym?


Although Salami was once involved in politics in the 60s (with the party of Adegoke Adelabu), he was not the same one as Eruobodo. Eruobodo na Adedimu of the second republic politics. Eruobodo's real name is Busari Adelakun (former UPN politician turned NPN politician). The guy was the king of "thuggery" for NPN in the 1983 election in Oyo State.

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Last edited by Toxicarrow on Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:09 pm 
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Toxicarrow wrote:
anointed wrote:
Toxicarrow wrote:
anointed wrote:
Is it true that he wasnt really educated.

Somebody used to joke about this that enytime IICC had a big match and journalist will interview him, asking: Chief, what do you think will happen in 2moro's game?

Chief: We sall beat them. Baba Eleran to so be. ( Baba Eleran has said so).

From there the interview turns to Yoruba.


Nope...you are wrong. Chief Lekan Salami was not like that. The man was educated. Yes, at times, he changed to Yoruba because he loved to talk with the hard-core Yoruba proverbs like MKO Abiola.


Interesting. At least I know more on LS than I used to know.

BTW, was he the one referred to as Eruobodo? Or was one of those people that got Ibadan the Wild Wild West pseudonym?


Although Salami was once involved in the 60s (with the party of Adegoke Adelabu), he was not the same one as Eruobodo. Eruobodo na Adedimu of the second republic politics. Eruobodo's real name is Busari Adelakun (former UPN politician turned NPN politician). The guy was the king of "thuggery" for NPN in the 1983 election in Oyo State.


Thanks for the clarification.

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For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding...hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:32 pm 
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anointed wrote:
Toxicarrow wrote:
anointed wrote:
Toxicarrow wrote:
anointed wrote:
Is it true that he wasnt really educated.

Somebody used to joke about this that enytime IICC had a big match and journalist will interview him, asking: Chief, what do you think will happen in 2moro's game?

Chief: We sall beat them. Baba Eleran to so be. ( Baba Eleran has said so).

From there the interview turns to Yoruba.


Nope...you are wrong. Chief Lekan Salami was not like that. The man was educated. Yes, at times, he changed to Yoruba because he loved to talk with the hard-core Yoruba proverbs like MKO Abiola.


Interesting. At least I know more on LS than I used to know.

BTW, was he the one referred to as Eruobodo? Or was one of those people that got Ibadan the Wild Wild West pseudonym?


Although Salami was once involved in politics in the 60s (with the party of Adegoke Adelabu), he was not the same one as Eruobodo. Eruobodo na Adedimu of the second republic politics. Eruobodo's real name is Busari Adelakun (former UPN politician turned NPN politician). The guy was the king of "thuggery" for NPN in the 1983 election in Oyo State.


Thanks for the clarification.


You are welcome....Lekan Salami was a non-violent person

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:15 pm 
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Lekan Salami was cultured by Nigerian standards.
I knew some of his kids who were highly educated and back in the late 80s/90s had a nice house in North West London.

Also, for folks who live in Ibadan, his estate on the outskirts of New Bodija rented out to some Israeli construction firm (Name skips me). Point is, by Nigerian standards and by the standards of the Nigerian bourgoise, he was a pretty decent man and definitely was not uncouth nor a loud mouth a la Adedibu or Obasanjo.

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When they came for the socialists, I was silent, because I was not a socialist;
When they came for the trade unionists, I did not protest, because I was not a trade unionist;
When they came for the Jews, I did not protest, because I was not a Jew;
When they came for me, there was no one left to protest on my behalf."

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:15 pm 
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chopeski wrote:
Lekan Salami was cultured by Nigerian standards.
I knew some of his kids who were highly educated and back in the late 80s/90s had a nice house in North West London.

Also, for folks who live in Ibadan, his estate on the outskirts of New Bodija rented out to some Israeli construction firm (Name skips me). Point is, by Nigerian standards and by the standards of the Nigerian bourgoise, he was a pretty decent man and definitely was not uncouth nor a loud mouth a la Adedibu or Obasanjo.


yes i know salami estate, been there quite a few times, very nice place, rented out to soleh boneh i think!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:28 am 
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Thanks, Chopeski and Marko for the additional inputs.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:58 am 
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30 years after this week. Continue to rest in peace....

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:01 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:50 am 
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He wrote a book on the history of football in Ibadan, which i bought when i was growing up in Ibadan. So I believe he was educated.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:41 am 
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Dammy wrote:
He wrote a book on the history of football in Ibadan, which i bought when i was growing up in Ibadan. So I believe he was educated.
...you don't have to educated to write a book or have your name on the book as the author.
That said, if we Nigerians can fluently revert to local language to give interviews it will be much much better for clarification rather than trying to speak queen's own language and mangle your intentions.
We see many in the football commentaries of today trying very hard to be like their epl heroes.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:30 pm 
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Pictures from the 30th year remembrance event:

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