Abia Warriors FC
Abia Warriors FC is a Nigerian football club based in the city of Umuahia, Abia State.
The club won promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in August 2013.
History has shown that what is currently known as the Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia started as an amateur side known as the NEPA FC of Umuahia.
Kudos must be given to Basil Udeogu of blessed memory, who then took charge of the club, renamed it Abia Warriors FC of Umuahia, and, through dint of hard work, determination, and commitment, steered the club into the then Nigeria Professional League.
Upon his demise and subsequent promotion of the club from the National Amateur League to the Professional League, Chief Jude Ezechukwu, the erstwhile proprietor of the defunct Jasper United Football Club, was appointed as the first chairman of the club.
Shortly after that, the club was renamed OUK Football Club, and Chief Ifeanyi Iboko became the club chairman, followed by a brief stint by the former Director of Sports in the State, Mr. Ejikeme Ikwunze, who administered the club as a sole administrator.
In 2019, a new board was reconstituted with the election of Pastor Emeka Inyama as chairman. The renowned sports administrator has Mr. Ebere Esiaba as secretary.
Not long after this, the club’s name went back to Abia Warriors of Umuahia, and it acquired an office complex for the first time with internet facilities and quality technocrats to run its affairs.
Determined to make Abia Warriors one of the best in the land, the club recently moved into a modern double-wing duplex befitting a Premier League side, and observers believe that the current Abia Warriors Secretariat located along Ikot Ekpene Road in Umuahia is second to none among its peers.
With all these on the ground, the die was indeed cast and it was not surprising that the club debuted in the Nigeria Premier Football League after it gained promotion from the Nigerian National League after almost 3 seasons of campaigning in the lower rung of Nigerian football.
Worthy of mention in all these achievements is the effort and massive support the club received from its immediate environment, which has demonstrated their belief that top-flight football can be witnessed in Umuahia, the capital city of Abia State.
The team demonstrated its resolve to make an appreciable impact in its debut Premier League season with a superlative performance in the preseason “Super Four” contest held in Abuja to determine the authentic champions of the Nigeria National League, where it made it to the final. Since that time, Abia Warriors has become a household name in Nigerian football.
While all the other three teams with whom it gained promotion to the elite class have since been relegated, Abia Warriors, initially pioneered by veteran tactician Isa Ladan Bosso, took the league by storm as the team became the first club in the elite division to win three away games in a season.
Also, the club scored the second-highest number of goals, only coming behind the Kano Pillars. At the end of its debut season, the Abia Warriors missed going continental by whiskers and eventually finished 7th on the 20-team log. Since then, the team has continued to survive the storm to remain in the Nigeria Professional Football League. In the last abridged season, the club finished fourth on the table in Group B.
Apart from Ladan Bosso, Abia Warriors have also attracted other big coaches in Nigerian football like Kennedy Boboye, Okey Emodi, Abdullahi Biffo, Rafel Everton, Henry Makinwa, Emmanuel Deutch, Imama Amakapabo and now Erasmus Onu, all of whom made their mark in the club.
Recently, Abia Warriors recorded another feat by becoming the first Nigeria Premier League club to float a genuine U.13 and U.15 football academy, some of whom are on the club’s scholarship program.
A quest that is geared back to its immediate environment, which has remained steadfast in its support all these years.
In a significant move in July 2023, the board re-constituted with the coming of John Sam Obuh, a prominent figure in Nigerian football management, as the freshly anointed chairman of the club.
Tasked with a mission to make the team strong in football and also have a positive impact on the community and sports in general.
Obuh, a seasoned football technocrat with an illustrious track record spanning over 29 years both on and off the pitch, has embarked on a dedicated mission to overhaul and redefine the trajectory of the club. With a wealth of experience that includes coaching stints with the Nigerian National Team at the U17 and U20 levels and the Nigerian Premier League clubs, Obuh brings formidable expertise to the table.
His vision extends beyond the boundaries of the playing field, as he is committed to orchestrating a comprehensive transformation by engaging key stakeholders and optimizing facilities.
This strategic approach aims to establish a solid foundation for the club's advancement, with a particular focus on clinching triumphs in various tournaments, notably the highly competitive intercontinental tournaments.
Through a thorough tactical prowess, administrative acumen, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, Obuh aspires to steer the club toward a future defined by achievements and accolades.