The new captain of the Ilorin Golf Club, unbelievably an Igbo man, is quietly toeing the footsteps of former Governor of Kwara State, the late Muhammed Lawal, in restructuring the Ilorin Golf Club. He is Dim [Chief] Ray Okafor.
Okafor, who hails from Owerri, did not really come out to play golf despite his 30 years stay in Ilorin. He was simply okay with the regular squash games he played in the home of his bosom friend, the late General Tunde Idiagbon.
But after the demise of Idiagbon, he opted for golf in 2009. And ever since, he has not looked back.
To ensure Ilorin Golf Club keeps pace with front running clubs in Nigeria, Okafor all alone constructed a Starter’s Tent, a bush bar, and two convenience gazebo within the vast fairways of the course so golfers don’t have to scamper back to the Clubhouse anytime they are pressed on course.
At the moment, the captain, who is into construction, is planning to erect a 30-room guest house around the Clubhouse so golfers who visit can meet with available accommodation at a relatively low cost.
“I believe being a Captain is a call to serve,” Okafor said. “Before coming to this post, I already knew what I wanted to do. But when I came in, I saw there wasn’t the revenue to carry out my plans. I was not bothered and I opted to spend my own money just for the betterment of the Club.
“I must say I was impressed at the way I was voted. The true spirit of one Nigeria came into play. Nobody cared that I was Igbo. I got massive votes to that point the votes of the three indigenes, who ran with me, combined could not match mine. This is why I plan to do so much more for this club.”