The Administrator of Kwara Football Academy (KFA), Mallam Ibrahim Oladele Bako was on Tuesday presented with a meritorious award by one of his former players, Maroof Sulaiman, popularly known as Pasue, in his office.
While receiving the award, which he says was the first after his appointment as Administrator of KFA, Mallam Bako commended Pasue for the recognition, pledging to continue to contribute to the development of humanity through sports.
Sulaiman praised Mallam Bako, describing him as a grassroots sports administrator, who has paid his dues. He also congratulated him on his appointment as Administrator of the institution which combines the teachings of education and football basics.
“”Mallam Bako contributed to my personal and footballing life, right from my school days at Barakat Community Secondary School, Ilorin”, he said.
“It all started from my Junior Secondary School I class, when he chose me as a Class Representative. He was then the school’s Games Master.
“At JSS II, ND through the inter-class football tournament, I was introduced into the school team, and he made me the Captain of the school team when I was in JSS III.
With me as Captain, we won Principals’ Cup three times, and the school also won the first state NNPC/Shell Cup soccer competition among secondary schools, and reached the quarter-final stage at the national finals.
“I was lobbied then by Government High School, Ilorin, when Mallam Mohammed Aluko was the Games Master, and by Andar-u-deen College, when Alhaji Rasheed Balogun (Balinger) was the Games Master, all with the promise to pay my school fees, but I turned them down, because of Mallam Bako.
“I remained with Mallam Bako because he discovered my talent, and supported me all through my playing career”, added.
Maroof Sulaiman played for International Youth Football Club, under coaches Razaq, Shuaib and Sunday Jasper. He also played for Injectors FC of Ilorin, Kogi United, under late Coach Raymond Ogosi, Shooting Stars Sports Club for four years, before having a stint with a club in Ukraine for a year and half.
When he came back to Nigeria, he played for Crown Football Club of Ogbomosho, and later, Zamfara Football Club, under coach Rafiu Yusuf.
Mallam Bako was with Barakat Community Secondary School from 1991 up till 2006. He also taught at Ilorin Grammar School and Government Secondary School, before crossing to the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development in 2010.
He was the Secretary of Kwara United from 2013 to 2019.