By Patrick Omorodion
Heineken Lokpobiri was never a name associated with sports in Nigeria until he found himself in the National Assembly. Itâ€™s like he talks beforeÂ he reasons most times and because he has friends in the media his (mis)thoughts are always published whether they make sense or not.
Yes, the Senator was right when he said a couple of days ago that Sports Editors voted for Shaibu Amodu to become appointed Head Coach of the Eagles but he was dead wrong to say that Chief Taiwo Ogunjobiâ€™s technical department wanted Samson Siasia over Amodu.
This reporter was the first to say it on these pages how Editors voted for Amodu at the behest of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) who were working against the former NSC Chairman/Sports Minister, Barrister Abdulrahman Gimba who wanted Siasia to satisfy the yearnings of Nigerians.
For Lokpobiri to start saying now and giving Ogunjobiâ€™s department credit for wanting Siasia over Amodu, is very wrong and misleading. Siasia came first in the interview conducted by the NFF but the football house in connivance with a powerful group who run its marketing affairs wanted Amodu and worked on some Editors behind the NSC.
Not all Editors voted for Amodu to keep the records straight. Some Editors and other sports personalities, including a former Green Eagles captain, voted for Siasia while others voted for Stephen Keshi but since majority carries the day, Amodu was endorsed grudgingly by the NSC which never wanted him.
I make bold to say this because this same Lokpobiri was usedÂ by the same powerful people to rubbish Gimba during the Senate hearing on the bloated budget for the U-17 World Cup after President Yarâ€™Adua had rejected the N37 billion budget the LOC presented and cancelled the hosting right before he was prevailed upon to have a change of mind.
The Senator had said N37 billion was a small amount (a chicken change as some would say ) to Nigeria, which he argued was not comparable to what South Africa was earmarking for the 2010 World Cup. He did not know that the World Cup is a different kettle of fish from the U-17 which some countries host with facilities in their tertiary institutions.
The NFF members know that Amodu was their making and have spoken through their President, Sani Lulu Abdullahi that they will swim or sink with him. The Editors were just used by the NFF to frustrate Gimbaâ€™s perceived action to foist Siasia, who was the peopleâ€™s choice and actually came first in the interview, on them. That is the truth and I challenge anybody to prove me wrong.