Until he decided a few weeks back to run for governorship of Ogun State, many people didn’t know that ace footballer, Segun Odegbami, is from Abeokuta in Ogun State. He is. This is because he is a completely debratised Nigerian who was born in Jos and lived his first few years up North. In fact, when the news broke a few months back, that popular footballer, Segun Odegbami, was running for Ogun governorship, many felt it was just a rumour. But last week, Odegbami officially joined Labour Party and the rumour became a reality. It was a big event at the Labour Party office in Abeokuta. Many remember him as a damn good player in those good old days when he was a footballer who played in a forward position. He was nicknamed Mathematical for his precise style of play. He was famous for running down the touchline with the ball to prevent opponents from getting it. Odegbami is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all-time.
Many don’t know Odegbami is from Abeokuta because he has always been a detribalised Nigerian, who was born and brought up in the North. He was brought up in the northern city of Jos, Plateau State. But we can tell you that he is from Ogun Central Senatorial District. His father is from Ago Odo in Oke-Ona, while his mum is from Imo in Ake area of town. His village is Wasimi Orile, Ewekoro LG.
He had a very brilliant playing career. He won 46 caps and scored 23 goals for the National Team, and guided Nigeria to its first Africa Cup of Nations title at the 1980 tournament in his homeland. He was famous for his skill on the ball, speed and precision of his crosses from the right wing. He played for IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan throughout his entire career, from 1970 to 1984. His last game was the 1984 African Champions Cup final. IICC lost to Zamalek of Egypt. The source of the nickname “Mathematical” was because Segun Odegbami attended and graduated from Nigeria’s premier technical institution; The Polytechnic, Ibadan where he studied Engineering.
A few days back, City People’s Publisher Seye Kehinde, spent 2 hours with this great Nigerian. It was a Sunday morning and just before he set out to go and play his regular game of Tennis. He told City People his story, why he joined the guber race in Ogun and how he plans to be different.