Veteran sportsman, journalist, Victor Bunor Uwabor, buried amid eulogies

Victor Bunor Uwabor

Veteran sportsman, journalist, Victor Bunor Uwabor, buried amid eulogies

Victor Bunor Uwabor
Victor Bunor Uwabor

In 1972, Mr. Victor Iwebunor Chukwuasiaokwo Uwabor, who was buried on

Friday August 12, 2013 at his Obior, Aniocha North LGA, hometown,

Delta state, was a national secondary school sports legend.

In 1972 St. Anthony’s College Ubulu-Uku was an academic and sports

power house in the then Mid-West state. That year, Uwabor, alias

Attila the Hun, won the school’s Victor Ludorum Cup, for the best

performer in any sports competition.  Victor Ludorum (or actually

victrix ludorum”) is Latin for “the winner of the games”. It is

usually a trophy presented to the most successful team, club, or

competitor at a sports event. To win that cup, an athlete would need

to be good in several track and field events.  Uwabor was an

all-rounder and he won that laurel rather easily. Please, don’t make

the mistake of thinking that the Victor Ludorum feat would have come

easily to any athlete, no matter how superlative his sporting talents

in the SAC of 1972.  That year, its top sprinter, Ojogwu Felix was

easily the Asaba divisional champion, having taken over the baton from

Peter Ofili, who in 1970 was the national secondary schools champion

and who later left for Edo College for his HSC programme just to be

close to the Ogbeh Stadium for training, as the Mid-West government

advised. In 1972, Ojogwu (alias Odobro) was a member of the state’s

relay quartet.  The school’s Football Captain, Dike Pius, a member of

the school’s relay team was number three in Mid-West in the Long Jump

event. Many other champions abounded in the school that year (one of

such champions was Emma Nwaoboshi, the brother of Senator Peter

Nwaoboshi; 400 metres was his forte) in which it once again retained

the Adeola Table Tennis Cup which no other school could take from her

until the competition stopped around 1980. The victorious Table Tennis

Team consisted of Chris Okasia, Vincent Onyemem, Charles Ejoko and

Anthony Onoh.

In 1972, Victor Uwabor was not just the local champion in his special

track event; 800 metres. He was actually the champion of the then

Aniocha Division which spread from Ubulu-Uku to Asaba, an area in

which exists over six Local Government Areas today. Then, and unlike

now, the Amateur Athletics Association, existed at the Local

Government, state and the national levels and since it was founded in

1944 and it organised sports competitions at the various levels all

through the 1970s.

By 1972, the Hussey Shield competition was for boys and the Lady

Manuwa Cup was for girls, nationwide and the 1972 meet was in Kaduna.

By 1972, St. Anthony’s College, Ubulu-Uku was famous across the entire

Mid-West state for its sports prowess. Its football team was

formidable; so too its teams in Basket Ball, Volley-Ball. In 1972,

five Anthonian footballers were invited to the Mid-West Academicals

camp – Football Captain Dike Pius (Mc Butcher), Okonji Ogeah, Sunday

Ezeana, Kabadi, Joseph Alika.

In 1972, the track and field legend of St. Anthony’s College was near

its past summit, reached in 1970 when one if its students, Peter Ofili

was the fastest student sprinter in the entire country. In 1974, he

emerged the best male sprinter, and was ready to dazzle the world at

the 1976 Olympics…but Nigeria boycotted the sports meet to protest

against the apartheid government in South Africa.  After Ofili left

St. Anthony’s College for his HSC studies at Edo College, where I

learnt he was college father to a certain young Ifeanyi Okowa (now

Governor of Delta state and running mate to Atiku Abubakar in the 2023

presidential elections. Some SAC old students still swear that Ofili’s

best sprinting effort appeared at the Pilgrim Baptist, Issele-Uku

grounds where the 100 by 400 metres relay quartet of Nwokolo, Norbert

Onwuegbuzie (he later became a top shot at News Agency of Nigeria),

Apolo, and Ofili disgraced the other teams in the finals by giving

them a gap of several metres. But that was not a surprise; Ofili was

first in the 100 metres and 200 metres, Nwokolo was second in 100

metres and third in 200 metres and Norbert was third in 100 metres.

Elijah Mordi, who broke the Anthonian chain of first, second and third

in the 200 metres race was of Anglican Grammar School, Ubulu-Uku,

SAC’s local rival.

Victor Uwabor, who was fluent in Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba was born in

Lagos on Nov 1st, 1950, contributed a lot to the sports glory of St.

Anthony’s College, UBulu-Uku and the Mid-West. As Athletics Captain,

he did all in his power to keep the flag flying. The school took the

first position in almost all the invitation relays it attended as

Festus Ojogwu, alias Odobro, effectively stepped into Peter Ofili’s

shoes and became the school’s main sprinter. Yet, the major attraction

St. Anthony’s presented at the invitation relays was the incredible

sight of the human machine in top motion as Dike Pius (yes, the

football captain and second relay leg)  always created waves in his

peculiar way of flying through the tracks, often hitting his toes

against some obstacle and instead of falling down, he would soar

through the air like a thunderbolt and without missing a stride, would

be the first to hand over his baton to the third leg in the relay

race. And by the time Ojogwu would receive the baton, the shouts that

would have rented the air would be “Anthony’s Varsity, Anthony’s

Varsity”.  The spectators would be left discussing how Mc Butcher

“dusted” his competitors.

1972 was Victor Uwabor’s year. He had easily emerged Mid-West champion

in 800 metres and narrowly missed the first position in the Hussey

Shield competition at Kaduna. He continued his winning streak at St.

Patricks’ College, Asaba, where other Anthonian sports legends also

became legendary; Sunday Ezeana and Dike Pius became some of SPC’s

best footballers. While Ezeana was offered scholarship to the boarding

House in Anthony’s, Mc Butcher received the same honours in SPC,

Asaba. Uwabor and Patrick Anwuzia (alias Tee Mac) the founding Pastor

of the Zoe Ministry upheld SPC’s flag in field and tracks. Pastor

Anwuzia was a champion hurdler.  .

Uwabor always led all the school’s boarders to the town of Ubulu-Uku

for the Cross-Country two-mile race at least once a month. It was a

dreaded event during the harmattan months, but the great Attila

couldn’t be bothered. Under Uwabor the Athletics Captain, SAC won all

Invitation Relay prizes from Agbor to Asaba at the secondary schools

Inter-House Sports meets she attended. Sometimes she sent two teams to

two different schools and both teams would emerge winners..

Uwabor maintained his sports championship streak in various varsity

games for the University of Lagos where he earned a Bachelor’s degree

in History and a Master’s in International Relations.

Mr. Peter Ifeanyi Nwabuokwu, Uwabor’s classmate said this of him in


(a.k.a Attila the Hun) was indeed a man of many parts. As classmates,

we were the best of friends, as we shared the same dormitory (St.

Cyril’s House) all our five years in school…1968 to 1972.

Attila was not just an amiable character but was a good sports man in

school. He represented our dormitory throughout our school days in all

the Inter House sports competitions, in 400 and 800 meters races. Same

he did for St. Anthony’s College, Ubulu Uku, in various regional

competitions between 1970 and 1972, winning laurels in the process.

He was also a state (Midwest State) athlete, as he represented the

state in major national sports and athletic competitions in 1971/72.

Attila the Hun, will be missed by all of us, particularly his

immediate family. My efforts to meet him in his Asaba home in March

this year (we parted ways in December, 1972 after our WASC

examinations), didn’t materialise, as he was indisposed. We had agreed

to meet when next I visit home (Igbuzo). But fate had other plans”.

Rest on, our indefatigable friend, classmate and brother, until we

meet on resurrection day. (Nwabuoku Peter, 1972 set)

To Mr. Emma Ogbolu of the 1974 set, “Uwabor was intensely focused on

his athletics training. He took his sports training seriously, most

seriously, so it was natural that he excelled”.

Oh, I nearly forgot this; in 1972, Uwabor headed the school’s Cultural

Troupe which also became storied owing to the laurels it won. While

most other schools presented dance or dance drama, SAC dazzled the

audience by adding acrobatic displays (by Joe Obi, Ben Obiofuma,

Anthony Odiah and the chief contortionist, Nosa Yakubu) to her


Uwabor was a Victor Ludorum in life. He was a published playwright and

authored numerous books. Uwabor was an all-round winner who became a

popular sports commentator when he was on the staff of Radio Nigeria,

but on the radio waves, bearing the name Bunor short for Iwebunor. He

later became a religious Pastor. He lived life to the full, he was a

jack of many trades and master of them all. The testimonials he won at

Nnebisi College (SPC Asaba’s name when he was there), Mountain of Fire

Ministries, Radio Nigeria, University of Lagos, Akoka, prove that he

was a giant among men. Despite the stardom the sports star who died at

age 71 achieved, he remained ever humble. May his soul rest in perfect


Author: Tony Eluemunor