By Patrick Omorodion
Former Chairman of the Gombe State Football Association, Alhaji Ahmed Gara Gombe has taken his battle to rid sports of injustice and corruption to his home state with a call on the state governor, Alhaji Mohammed Danjuma Goje to investigate the sports commissioner, Alhaji Ahmed Yayari over an alleged â€˜missingâ€™ N12 million budget for the clubâ€™s FA Cup campaign.
Alhaji Gara Gombe told Sunday Vanguard sports that he and Alhaji Yayari were invited by the governor to â€œfashion out modalities for Gombe United to win the FA Cupâ€ and a budget of N12 million was drawn and presented to the governor.
According to the football critic, â€œthe governor approved it and Alhaji Yayari collected theÂ money for us to go to Makurdi to execute our plan but since then Iâ€™ve not setÂ my eyes on him or the money.â€
The former FA boss said what he wants from the sports commissioner now â€œis for him to come and defend himself or explain how the money was used because I donâ€™t want to be accused of what I donâ€™t know about.â€
He also alleged that the sports commissioner â€œmisappropriated the sum of N29 million approved for the Gombe state contingent to the National Sports Festival held in Kaduna last yearâ€ as the athletes and officials did not get their due from the budget. â€œThe government approved N29 million for the Gombe contingent. There was supposed to be a two-week camping for the athletes, but he (Alhaji Yayari) went to Kaltungo Local Government and asked the chairman to sponsor the camping, which he obliged.
After four days the camp was called off because the chairman felt the councilâ€™s funds were being drained but the commissioner said it was called off because there were too many snakes at the camp site. Didnâ€™t know that there were too many snakes before taking the athletes there. They paid theÂ athletes only N1,000 during the festival,â€, he said, alleging that 50% of the athletes that represented the state were â€˜ghostâ€™ athletes who were all budgeted for.
Alhaji Gara Gombe, while asking the governor to look into his allegations against the commissioner, said he has finished compiling corrupt practices against Alhaji Yayari and will soon forward it to the EFCC and ICPC. â€œYayari is a classical example of corruption at the state level, he should defend himself or we will meet in court or the EFCC. He wonâ€™t go free,â€ the former Gombe FA boss vowed.
When Sunday Vanguard sports put a call to Alhaji Yayari, he said that his accuser should be ignored because â€œI see him as a commentator and not a stakeholder in sportsâ€, stressing that all he (Yayari) has been doing was for the best interest of the state. He denied raising or receiving any fund for Gombe Unitedâ€™s campaign in any competition, adding that â€œwhat I did was proposing to individuals and companies to support the government as it could not do everything alone.â€
The sports commissioner however said that no response has come from his campaign for funds for sports but he was still talking with various individuals and companies who do business with the state government.