Daily Trust (Abuja)

16 February 2013

Nigeria: Presidential Reward - Gombe Condemns NFF Officials Exclusion

Former Chairman of Gombe State Football Association, Alhaji Ahmed Shaibu Gara-Gombe has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for rewarding the victorious Super Eagles but said the exclusion of NFF officials was wrong saying it will encourage corruption in the system.

On Tuesday President Jonathan hosted the team to a grand reception in the presidential villa and showered the players and their officials with cash, national honours and plots of land in Abuja.

Speaking to Weekly Trust yesterday, Gombe who was part of the team that provided essential services for the Eagles in South Africa said the victory of the Super Eagles should not be about the players and their officials only but all those who played sensitive roles in ensuring the victory.

He said leaving out the NFF officials who sometimes made personal sacrifices to ensure that the team got all it needed to succeed in South Africa is an indirect way of encouraging them to find unethical ways to also reward themselves.

Gombe said even as the NFF officials were excluded from the monetary reward, a presidential handshake would have made sense but it was not to be because those who should have advised Mr. President failed to do their duty.

His words: "I am not too happy that the NFF Executive Committee members, the management staff and other people who contributed to the success were left out of the Presidential reward. That will breed corruption.

"If the board today go and start pilfering the $1.5m from CAF to compensate themselves as reward, nobody should blame them. It is like everybody is concentrating on the players and the coaches. That is very unfair.

"Before they got there, somebody must have provided the platform for them. The federation provided the platform for the coach to invite his players. The federation paid the allowances of the coaches and the players. The federation provided the kits, medical and all the other things they needed to get result but once the trophy was lifted everybody forgot about the federation and other staff. This is very unfair.

"Either monetary reward or national honour should have been extended to the board members and some of the key management staff. If this is not done, we are killing Nigerians enthusiasm, morale and patriotism. This will indirectly encourage corruption."

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