Mr Okwudili Celestine Okwudili is the Bet9ja representative in Nsukka Local Government Area. A vibrant young man who is bent on bringing succour to the development of football talents within Enugu State. In an interview with Uchenna Ezeadigwe, he talks on how to sustain Bet9ja football tournaments which would equally serve as a way of ensuring that the youths are crime free.
Can you briefly tell us about the emergence of Bet9ja in Nsukka?
Bet9ja came to Nsukka in 2014 and that was the first day I opened my shop at Ofuluonu junction. It didn’t work out well as planned, so I had to relocate to two more places for the same venture before I discovered Hill top which is hugely dominated by students and indigenes and it became a palatable path for me to ply my trade. Business started booming and Bet9ja became the talk of the town. The good news was the financial succour it gave to all and sundry. Today, Bet9ja is an office with exception in Nsukka, very attractive, prompt payment and reliable.
Is it true that a lot of youths are committed to bet9ja than any other betting site?
Honestly, our country’s economy is not favourable to a lot of youth due too many hardships and the rate of unemployment. Bet9ja has become our way of life as well as the only platform you can get up to 30 to 40 million naira with just N100, N200 or more depending on the stake. Before an average civil servant or businessman/woman can save up to one million naira, it’s going to take years but with Bet9ja in two days you can be favoured to win millions. Bet9ja is surely a reliable platform where you can easily possess that cash you are longing to use for something more meaningful. The only thing is that it requires you to focus your mind and attention in forecasting games because you really need to know the game and work for it. You need to take a risk and be accustomed to the rules of the game. So, you must make a move to achieve that which can better the life of your family. Many people are also against
betting as such they give it funny names but I advise people to embrace it because that’s the safest way to become a millionaire. Always remember that Bet9ja is the reward for one’s passion and not a calamity to anybody’s future.
Are you aware that the federal government intends to close all betting sites in Nigeria?
No, it is a rumour and has never been an issue. What prompted the rumour was when the National Assembly (Senate) invited all the gaming agencies for a discussion on what is happening in the betting industry. Every other gaming agency acknowledged the invitation except Bet9ja. So, they threatened to shut down all bet9ja outlets in the country. Both parties were able to reconcile the matter and that was why it didn’t resurrect again in the media.
There is news in town that you are organising a Bet9ja football tournament, is it true?
You are absolutely correct; this is not actually the first time that we are organising such event. The last year’s edition of the football competition was wonderful, everybody was carried along and we achieved a lot. It is something that communities and clubs are already expecting. The previous one was staged in July 2018 and we are set to kick off next month for the 2019 edition which will be focused on clubs and communities within Enugu State. It is going to be massive and entertaining.
What motivated you to host such competition in Nsukka?
Nsukka is my home town and I think it will be wise to bring such competition at the local level because it will benefit the youths as talented players will be discovered in the process. It will be an awareness creation to prominent individuals who may likely come in as future sponsors. The world will also know that Nsukka is blessed with abundance of natural resources. I spent many years in Lagos and it was difficult to feed, at a time somebody introduced me to bet9ja. During our training, one of the facilitators advised us that we could actually take this business to our various communities and I cued into it, that was how I got the inspiration. Initially, I didn’t have enough money to come back home, so I had to sell my last inheritance to start up the business, thank God I didn’t squander the money. Today my outlets are booming and are the best in Nuskka. What more can I do or say but giving back to the society, especially those ones that made it possible for me to survive and believe in myself. So, we need to empower and encourage the young ones because they are the majority of customers that we have.
What are your expectations from clubs registering for the tournament?
Yeah, I am full of expectations and would want everybody to be involved. Whether clubs, individuals, groups, football lovers and all who can afford the opportunity of participating in the tournament, provided they will meet up with the guidelines. On the other hand, I want people to visit Nsukka and see things for themselves. It is going to give people the opportunity to enjoy good life, foods, roads, and our rich culture.
Finally, what do you intend to offer the outstanding teams in this year’s edition of the football tournament?
The previous one we did was perfect and cool. The winner got two hundred and fifty thousand-naira, second placed team received one hundred and fifty thousand naira while third place team went home with one hundred thousand naira. This year’s competition will be much better because
any club that will lift the trophy will receive the sum of three hundred and fifty thousand-naira, second and third gets two hundred and fifty thousand naira and one hundred thousand naira respectively. Also, there is going to be special awards to the best player of the tournament, highest goal scorer award and the best team award which will focus on fair play and highest goals scored. Equally, we will upload everything online, starting with the opening ceremony, the knock out stages, actions of the tournament, match results and final ceremony where we will issue cash awards. Hopefully, this will rekindle the spirit of sportsmanship for all football fans in Nigeria.