Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has urged young people who are blessed with talents to remain humble and hardworking because “pride is the virus that destroys talent”.
The Governor stated this today at Government House Umuahia when he received Super Eagles star, Samuel Chukwueze who paid him a courtesy visit to mark his return from the Africa Nations Cup where he and other teammates in the Super Eagles won the bronze medal.
While congratulating the young Abian for making himself, his family and the people of Abia State proud, Ikpeazu warned him to avoid being misled by a momentary feeling of triumph but focus on building a career that will last long and become successful.
According to the Governor, “You are a young man with prodigious talent. But you must know that talent can showcase you but you need to work very hard to remain at the top. Talent is not enough to keep you at the very top of your game for too long. You must work extra hard. You must take your trainings seriously. You must be humble. You must respect your coaches and take their instructions seriously. If training is by 6pm, get there at 5. This is no longer your days at Umuahia. This is professional soccer, a career that has the potential of making you a multi millionaire. You must take if very seriously. You have all it takes to become the best player in the world. I have watched you play and I mean what I am saying”.
Continuing, Governor Ikpeazu said “The easiest way to destroy your career is to become proud of what you think you have achieved. Once pride sets in, you are finished. I have seen players…good players who had the world at their feet but pride didn’t allow them excel. Players like Tarila Okoronwanta and Etim Esin. Remain humble. Remember where you are coming from, your poor parents. Stay safe in Europe. Avoid drugs and drinking”.
The Governor was not done yet. He said “One more area you must take very seriously is the area of managing your resources. Soccer brings a lot of money. You will earn millions in hard currency. How you manage the money will determine a lot in your life. Football career is like a flower that blossoms in the morning and withers in the evening. You cannot play football beyond a certain age. As a University teacher, I can remain at work till almost 70 but a footballer cannot. You must invest wisely in ventures that can guarantee you good returns. Employ good investment advisors. I have seen ex footballers who were very good and made lots of money but are begging for food today. I saw a former prominent footballer in Aba two weeks ago and all he could boast of was a bicycle. I felt very sad indeed. Invest your money wisely my son and you will be happy for it. On behalf of the government and people of Abia State, we thank you for making us proud and welcome you back from Egypt and pray the good Lord to grant you a successful and injury free soccer career”.
Samuel Chukwueze then presented the Governor with his Super Eagles jersey, the bronze medal he won with the Super Eagles and the prize he won as the Man of the Match between the Super Eagles and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
The Governor rewarded the young man with some handsome cash.
Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, Permanent Secretary , Ministry of Youth Development,Friday Ikpeoha and General Manager of ASPIMS, Dr-acb Agbazuere we’re part of the event.
Samuel Chukwueze was accompanied on the visit by the Member representing Umuahia East in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Chukwudi Apugo, and ASEPA General Manager, Victor Apugo.