Football: My civil war experience in Jos


This is from 1967 or 1968. St. Murumba College, Jos. My class constituted all of the school’s first XI football team. How did that happen?
Following the pogrom of 1966, the school’s student population was badly depleted by Igbo students that were forced to return to the East.  
On resumption some months after the unfortunate political incident, because of the low number of students in the different schools owned by the Catholic Church, the decision to merge students into their different schools was adopted as the best way forward. 
 In St. Murumba College, the students in all  other classes except class one were moved to St. Joseph’s College, Vom, near Jos. 
My class, therefore, restarted St. Murumba College again. That’s how we became pioneer students of the school in 1966. 
16 of the 17 students that restarted the school automatically constituted the school’s football team. The team had only one student as our supporter, cheering us during matches mostly against St. John’s College, Jos, that was a new secondary school and had only 2 classes in that year. 
The 4 in the picture above were all classmates. 3 are still alive by the Grace of the Creator of all things. Joseph Medeme, standing on the left of the picture is late. On the right is Lateef Adebesin, a guru of geology, studied at the University of Ibadan for his first degree, and retired as Prinicipal of the School of Mines in Jos, many years ago. Stooping on the right is the school’s Captain, fastest man in the School and the State. He had his first degree at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, worked and rose to the top in broadcasting with NTA, retired, and was recalled to serve as Director-General of the NTA to date – Yakubu Ibn Mohammed. Yours truly is stooping on the left, showing off  with a bandana, copied from late Samuel Garba who was a great national academicals football star at the time, final year student of Academy College, Jos, who made the bandana his trademark. 
Eons after our graduation, I am still struggling to meandre and survive in the murky waters of the Nigerian sports industry. 
Incidentally, next month, St. Murumba College, will be marking its 60th anniversary since its founding, in Jos. Preparations are in top gear to mark the first reunion of this nature, and make it truly memorable. 
In the next few weeks, all roads will lead back to a truly great school that may have produced more national team players for Nigeria than any other secondary school in the history of the country.
 Am checking that out. The list will soon be made public. It will shock and surprise.


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