Call him one of the most appraised players in the Super Eagles of today and you’d be speaking the minds of many. Nigeria and International midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi who cut his professional teeth while representing the Nigeria’s U-17 World Cup team in 2009, has become a name to reckon with in the Football world.
The Midfielder and key player in his Italian club side SS Lazio, who is warming up for his June 18 2016 talk of the town wedding with his heartthrob Sandra Ogunsuyi, is presently in France with the rest of his team mates ahead of their friendly match against Mali tomorrow 27th -05-2016, and was cornered for an exclusive interview by Faith Irabor News Room.
You would enjoy the detailed interview as the player speaks extensively about the crisis in the NFF, plans to recall Super Eagles keeper Vincent Inyama and Emmanuel Emenike as well as all you’ve been wanting to know about his woman and their next month wedding.
It’s really good to have you guys around?
Thanks very much
To start with how does it feels like having everybody together again after all the dramas, coach changing and all?
Well for me it’s always a privilege to be part of the National team and try to see my team mates from all over their clubs come together for us to represent the country. We’ve had a lot of issues and it’s really sad and I really don’t want to go into it.
Yeah it’s true, I read some of things you said, you’re always on the part of peace, trying to ensure things fall back to normal but frankly speaking, what future do you see for the Super Eagles going by all that is happening as one of the few consistent players?
Okay as you’ve said, a lot has happened and it’s really sad and it’s not something I want to talk about, it is something that when people begin to talk about it I feel very sad because I am also into it. It’s not only them, we are all Nigerians and we represent the country in the sport aspect and for me, I just believe that it takes one day for things to begin to go out well. There might be problems everyday but one day things will change for good and I believe such day is coming soon. I believe that the players in the team are young and people who understand what it means to be together, bond together and above all understand what it means to represent the country, so this is very important and everyone is cool headed and we are all trying to make Nigerians happy and bring back our glory to the National team, like the World cup qualifiers that is coming ahead.
What are your expectations for that actually because a lot of Nigerians have lost hope in the National team and what are the things you think are necessary to be put in place?
Well, I will not say that our fans in Nigeria and all over the world are wrong for being angry, the drama is too much. But this is why we still came back, though if you think mentally of all that is happening, you just would not want to come, if you want to prove that you are man, you must stand your ground and prove so many people wrong by coming back and be strong to change things to turn around. For all the things we need to do for the qualifiers, I just believe that we have no option than to qualify for the World Cup. It’s really sad for us not to go for the Nations Cup as the giants of Africa. Today we have this coach, tomorrow we have another coach.
But do you think that foreign coach is the solution to this because a lot of people are clamouring for this while some names have also been mentioned as those likely to take the job?
For me I have always say that a coach is not the problem. The truth is, they need to give whoever, black or white the opportunity and time to systemize the team because it’s really not easy for you to bring different people with different thoughts and expect them to perform magic overnight. We need to give any coach time and I believe we have great coaches in Nigeria, all they need is to give those coaches time. It doesn’t take one day to become great. If for example you give a coach a year and half or two years to coach a team, I believe he should to give report for it but if at the end he couldn’t, then you can begin to say we’ve given you a lot of time but you can’t do this. But bringing different coaches in a short time who will also bring their own players won’t bring any consistency.
Do you miss Vincent Inyama and Emmanuel Emenike, they both left the team unexpectedly especially because of the closeness you’ve all shared together on and off the pitch?
The truth is I personally talk to these people and I try to plead with them not to look at all that has happened because I know they are angry, for me I have told them that this is our country and a lot of people love them and miss them. They are still in the system and should reconsider. I spoke to Inyama and I think he will reconsider and by the special grace of God he will come back because I really miss him and Emenike. As you can see Brown Ideye is here now, I spoke with him and told him that everything is going to work out fine and now Brown is in team and this way I believe everybody will be gradually back and we will be able to build the team.
How supportive is the present administration because everybody commended ex-President Jonathan’s administration in the Sports aspect and majority believe that this contributed to Nigeria winning lots of cups and even did fairly well in the World Cup?
Well this is not my aspect because it’s politics. But President Buhari just came in and is doing a lot to put the Country into place.
How about the NFF?
Well I think the NFF is doing their best from my own point of view and things that I have seen. It’s really not easy because people outside just read meanings to everything and just conclude. It is not easy to be in the situation.
But they didn’t help matters too because of their endless dramas and dragging each other to court every now and then?
Well like I have earlier said it’s not a good thing to hear or see but at this moment things are calm, I always follow up even while am away. I try to call to know how things are going. I think they are doing well now, even the Nigerian League.
A lot of people see you as a spiritual person and also someone very close to Prophet TB Joshua because of how you constantly call his name whenever you score or celebrating a win, are you a member of his church?
Hmmm, well my Church is Methodist Church but TB Joshua is someone who I will always thank for what he has done for me. I went to the National team and he tried to support me and also sponsor me to achieve my aim so I will always be thankful to him for that. He is the kind of person we need in this country. People who help without knowing who you are or where you come from. This is the thanks I want to give to him even if am not a member of his church, I will always thank him no matter where I go because he actually made a great impact in my life.
Your wedding is next month and am seriously following it, I saw beautiful pre- wedding photos of you and your fiancée on Instagram too, what are the expectations, I mean is heaven going to fall? (General laughter)
Well yes my wedding is next month and its holding in Lagos. I choose to have it in Nigeria because I felt it is necessary to make it possible for everybody to attend though it’s a strictly by invitation affair because if not it’s really going to be crowed. We are expecting a lot of Governors and Senators.
And I believe you have a father of the day too. Is Prophet TB Joshua coming, perhaps he is even the Spiritual Father of the day?
(Laughs) Yeah they are all there. By the special Grace of God we are going to make everything convenient for those who have been invited. Am sorry I cannot invite everybody.
But a lot of people are saying it’s a clique thing and that’s why you are not really loud about it?
Well it’s my day and I have to enjoy it. I urge everyone to come out and support me because it’s another life entirely.
Until the news of your wedding hit us, you’ve been able to maintain a commendable scandal free profile even though your name is much known in the team?
Thanks, well it is all about responsibility and it starts with your upbringing. It is not as if am the holiest or I don’t like women or stuffs like that but my job doesn’t require these kind of things…..(I had to interrupt him here)
Are you serious, no no no that’s not true! Footballers live very luxurious lifestyles and are mostly linked with women.
Well maybe they know how they go about it. But this is how I do mine and again, my woman has shown me reasons not to disappoint her.
That’s nice, but how did you guys met?
Well that you will hear on the wedding day because it is not going to be nice if I tell you before the wedding.
Where did you met her, was it in Lazio or Nigeria and how many Years ago was that?
Yeah we met in Nigeria about Five/Six Years ago.
Did you say five/six years ago, and she could wait for that long?
Well she is the patient type and that’s why I said she’s the one who gave me reasons not to disappoint her.
What was the attraction, at least there are lots of other beautiful ladies out there?
It is nothing special. But one thing is this, the heart is different from the eyes. When you meet someone who is close to your heart, you don’t need too much explanation.
How did you propose to her, I mean was she surprised?
Well you’re the first person I will be telling this. I actually proposed to her on the flight when we were going to Rome.
Wao! How did you pull such stunt, I mean the passengers and crew?
I spoke with the air hostess and I spoke with the people in the Business class too. I had to do it when the flight was calm, on a very high altitude. The passengers pretended as if they were sleeping before I had to do it. (General laughter)
Finally what messages do you have for your fans out there?
God bless them for keeping their hopes and trying to support us. We have disappointed them in several ways I must say but we promise to once again put smile on their faces.
Finally, promise us the World Cup ticket!
(Chuckles) Am not God but we promise to do our best. But you should know it will be a great privilege to qualifier for the World Cup so I actually need the ticket more than them.
Thanks so much for granting this interview
My pleasure here.