Mr Akin Matthew Ajayi is the current president of Abeokuta Sports Club, a unionist,socialite and down to earth selfless individual. Born on the 18th August 1959, Mr Akinwunmi Matthew Ajayi attended St.Gregorys Catholic Primary School,Ovirhi Agarho,Delta State, Ibadan Boys High School,Oke Bola Ibadan for his secondary education where his outstanding performance in the first year earned him a western state scholarship. Upon the creation … Excerpts…..of states in 1976, Ogun state government took over the responsibilities of funding the schorlarship. Finishing his secondary education with top grades, he proceeded to The Polytechnic Ibadan for his Advanced level programme. On completion of this,Mr Akinwunmi Ajayi was admitted into the University of Lagos for honours degree in physics. He later attended University of Ilorin where he w as awarded a master’s degree in physics in 1994.
Mr Akinwunmi Ajayi, presently a Chief Lecturer at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic,Ojere Abeokuta Ogun state rose through the ranks since joining the citadel of higher learning in 1983 as a youth service Corp member,he was chairman of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (mapoly chapter) for three years and was later elected Publicity Secretary of the national body of ASUP
He joined the prestigious Abeokuta Sports Club about thirteen years ago, a member of moonlight section,table tennis section and keep fit section. Since joining the club,he has held different elective and non elective positions including Mayor, Moonlight Section, Chairman, Disciplinary Committee,Chairman,Membership Committee,Vice President, Abeokuta Sports Club among many other.he bares his mind to Metronews’ Gbenga Davies on issues affecting Abeokuta Sports Club, his plans, achievements and challenges…
What are the challenges and achievement so far?
When I was Mayor, the economy was very buoyant then, and when I became president now, we are in the period of recession,and that has really affected the day to day running of the club, because I must tell you the truth on how economy has affected clubbing.. Our club is more of sport, but you should know where people gathered they will want to take a few bottles of drink, that is where we rely on but the rate at which people buy drinks have reduced and we can not increase our annual dues, because we know our members are feeling the impact of recession. We hardly found anyone who want to donate. Everybody will tell you that there’s no money. What we are just doing is making sure that we have a club that is growing. That is why when I came in as the president, we went so much into maintenance as it was what the past administration found difficult to do. Another issue is upgrading the club for people to see us from outside. We want to portray the image of who we really are when we are outside., having gone to many clubs around, I just decided that Abeokuta Sport Club should set a pace. That is where I brought up the idea of ultra modern gate. Which other clubs are now buying the idea of doing the befitting gate.
As a Sports Club, Would you say that you are curbing crime in the society to an extent?
Yes, you see, when we talk about social activities, we have to do a lot to increase our social activities, I believe our night activities should be on the increase. Ogun state is a peaceful state, I don’t know why our people are running home to sleep. People who are running bars and clubs, where will they get money when people who are supposed today patronise them have gone to sleep. We should be encouraged, its not everybody that move in the night that commit crime. We should not scatter criminality to darkness. We need to light up the place and bring in a lot of things that create fun here and there. We found out that hospitality business making a lot of dollars and we have not taken anything out of it. Isn’t it strange if Calabar is using hospitality business to make money. I believe all our hotels should be filled up and booked and government will make a lot of money. Because consumption tax and vat is there . those of us staying there we need things to do to see how that hospitality business will build more.
Talking about the future of the Club,how are your members being able to key Into your major activities
First and foremost, it’s all about sports and most of us when we come, it is social section they will take you to where you could be able to see a lot of activities going on in the club because we are only known for lawn tennis, but we have scrabble, ayo, table tennis and lots more, all these things are going on there, if you don’t enter the bar to socialise, you’re going into won’t know. We are always there to encourage people particularly those who are not interested to be interested. And we have inter and intra competitions. Lagos and Oyo states have come here, and we’ve also being to Ibadan, by next year, we are looking forward to going T Ilorin, we’re doing what will make people to join us and feel among, also to be social..
What are you doing in terms of fund generation?
We are also looking outside to get funds, I must tell you that Ogun State Ministry of works is trying to assist us in tarring the place, also Hon Lekan Adegbite the commissioner of the ministry is a member and he has been contributing, he is a silent person. I’m sure he won’t like it mentioning his name, he do things and doesnt want anybody to broadcast it. Some of our members also are the ones doing landscaping and some other things. We bring in professionals who did the architectural works free of charge. Annual dues is not even enough to run this place, people contribute for its survival. Every month we spend about 1.5 million to run this place. Salary alone is about 800 thousand, electricity is about 300 thousand, diesel is about 200 thousand, and when you say annual dues, its just about 10 million and when you put 1.5 million together for twelve months, that is about 18 million, so yo have to go out and source for money.
How do you ensure health status of your members?
We have had health talk done by glaxosmithklin pharmaceutical, they talk on cancer, since I came into office, we brought renowned oncologists to run eye test for our members, we continue to do all thee things because they need to know the type of sports they should do. Every Saturday morning at 7am, we have what we call keep fit section, they do aerobic and run round the field, people do different ways, but what really matters is that it prolong your life and your health increases. Some of our members when they are sick and go to hospitals, they are being challenge to take it easy with the exercise they are doing. Doctors have come and told us that we need to do exercise. I always know that most of our members always cross the boarder line of 70-80 years and above. You will be surprised when you see an 80year old doing exercises.
Abeokuta Sport Club of your dream?
Abeokuta sport club of my dream is a club whereby not only members now, the societies, Ogun state indigenes should be able to use the facilities for the growth of the state. I want to see us having a synergy with the state government whereby they will assist us in bringing up some of the rotten facilities. The major thing I want to do now is to complete the table tennis section for our members. My dream is to complete our swimming pool so that if we want to train, it will be easy for us. They sport section of under 17 games for south west is coming up soon, they are coming to this place.. My dream is to assist Ogun state in the area of sports so that the youth can benefit from it.
Do people indeed do get connections in your club?
Yes, we get a lot of connections here, a lady was restricting her husband from coming here and he told her that within two months I made ten million from people who are here. When I want to sell a vehicle, I inform them and they but it. So, is it when I sit down at home with you that I will sell the vehicle?. It is when you are nearer with people that things get solved. Abeokuta sport club is a big family. We assist ourselves and that is why we encourage people to join us. Nothing good comes cheap, it is determination and that is why we have worked it out. We have given people opportunity to pay in bits not once, it is commitment. We are one big family that you can’t even differentiate until I tell you this is Mr Governor, this is Mr commissioner, etc.
How do you maintain security of the facilities here and members?
There’s no way we won’t have security breach, but when it happens, we do serious investigation. Though we try to prevent it, but once it happens, we have to study it and use it to prevent such occurrences again, and it has been very helpful. We have been trying to use solar energy to do our CCTV cameras.
Do you have any other plans that is different from what others have done?
The club is so.old that people have done so much, so I don’t want to think along that line.
Your advice to Nigerians on social activities?
My advice is that followership makes leadership, we should stop puting our leaders in a pedester that they do not really belong to. We should be able to tell our leaders the truth as we see it. Our leaders turns us psychophant every time because we tell them what they want to hear thinking that once they give us what we want, our problems is solved, no. Telling someone what is right does not stop him from assisting you and he will think about what you have said. But when you continue to say what he want to hear every time, the brain itself goes down. So followership makes leadership. So when we want to elect, we should not go for materialism. It is very necessary so that we can start having leadership who are committed because we have everything to make the country great. Forget about the oil, let’s talk about human resources, we are very hardworking.