By Mfon Patrick
Akwa United’s profile as a foremost football brand was further applauded Wednesday when a South African-based football enthusiast and philanthropist Mr Oladeru Olaitan through his sports marketing agency donated football kits to the Nigerian top club.
Mr Olaitan, who is the Chief Executive Officer of sports marketing firm Olahscholes Limited, said he is proud to support and identify with a brand like Akwa United which in the last six years has become a factor in Nigerian and African football.
” I have followed the exploits of Akwa United over the years only to get the interest highlighted by the arrival of Coach Deji Ayeni who I respect and admire,” he said. Among the items donated to the 2021 NPFL champions by the South African-based football enthusiast are 25 balls, tracksuits, traveling wears, and hoses amongst others.
Presenting the kits to the management of the club, coach Ayodeji Ayeni said he was shocked and surprised when he received a call from Mr Olaitan, indicating interest in supporting Akwa United with football kits.
“Mr Olaitan is more than a friend, he is like a brother to me. While here in Nigeria, I encouraged him to play professional football which he did for some years before traveling to South Africa where he played for a few more years before going into his private business.
“He is an ardent follower of the Nigerian league and a big fan of Akwa United. When he heard that I am the coach of the club, he called to inform me that he wants to donate to the club as part of his support as a proud fan of the team. A few weeks later, I received these items from South Africa and I am here to present them to the club on behalf of Mr. Olaitan”.
Receiving the kits on behalf of the club, the chairman Elder Paul Bassey expressed appreciation to Mr. Olaitan and described him as a kind and true supporter of Akwa United and encouraged others to emulate him.
“We are happy that the little efforts we are putting in to make Akwa United a global brand is being appreciated by people both within and outside Nigeria. We are deeply touched by this wonderful gesture by Mr Olaitan especially coming from someone who is not from Akwa Ibom State and who has never played or worked in this club. We have ex-players of this club who are doing well abroad but have never come back to give back to the club that helped them progress in their chosen profession.
“We want to sincerely express our gratitude to Mr. Olaitan and his company for this show of love to our club. We want to assure him that we will do our best to ensure we justify the confidence reposed in us, especially by the Governor Udom Emmanuel-led government and good people of Akwa Ibom State and our supporters worldwide. We at Akwa United wish Mr. Olaitan success in all his endeavours”. The two-time Federation Cup Champions recently resumed pre-season training in preparation for the new football season.