Ex 3SC players, officials beg for justice over govt promise
By Patrick Omorodion
Fourteen years ago the Oyo State Government under Mr Amen Edore Oyakhire, then military administrator and Commissioner of Police rewarded the Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan for winning the 1998 Premier League.
Players and officials of the club were promised a plot of land each at the Dairy Milk now Kolapo Ishola GRA of Ibadan and financial reward in addition.Each player was to get N1million, Board members N2 million while the Executive Chairman was to get N3million.
According to an insider, the Certific ate of occupancy for the plots of land was issued to the players and officials while the monetary aspect was being processed but a new twist was added to the issue a few months later after Dr. Lam Adesina took over as civilian.
“The government recalled the C of O from the players and officials while the money was also never released and nobody gave us any explanation for the action till today”, the source added.
The Oyo State commissioner of sports when Comm Pol Oyakhire approved the reward for the team, Dr Bolaji Ojo-Oba was contacted on phone to throw more light on the issue but he too was at a loss as to why the decision was canceled.
“You know we served under the military but I can tell what happened after we left,” was all he could volunteer.
One of the key players in the team then, Leye Akinde, a goal keeper who spoke from London said the players tried to pressurise the government to give them their dues having brought honour to the state but the management then, headed by Chief Bode Oyewole kept persuading them to hold their peace that the government was going to do something about it.
“The management told us to hold on that something would be done but nothing was done. We felt bad because we did the state proud and government decided to honour us but another person came and stopped it.
Most of the players are scattered all over, Andrew Aikhomogbe is in Egypt, Peter Obanor is in Holland. Baldwin Bazuaye was part of us too. We are appealing to the government to do something about it, it will help to motivate upcoming players to put in their best,” Akinde stressed.
Efforts to reach either Obanor or Aikhomogbe proved abortive while the Board Chairman then, Elder Oyewole confirmed the C of O issued were actually recalled and “nobody gave us any reason for the decision.”
Ironically, Dr Adesina who reversed the decision of Oyakhire to reward the team has his son, Dapo Adesina as the current commissioner for sports in the state. Calls were put across to him to find out if the present government is aware of that development and what it could do about the players appeal but he would not pick the calls.