By Ime Bassey
Following the alleged attack on Lobi Stars of Makurdi by Okey Akabugu of Ocean Boys that led to him being suspended indefinitely, both clubs have expressed divergent views on the issue in separate interviews with Inside Out Premier League.
Abdulganiyu Adeleke, Team Manager of Lobi Stars said, “They are claiming that we connived with an away player to get a walk-over, but we are saying we cannot do that.
The night we arrived Yanegoa before the match, my media officer and CSO informed me that Okey Akabugu had called one of our players asking him over the availability of the team’s technical adviser, saying we should expect fire as he and his boys are coming.
At the pre-match meeting in the morning shortly after I had briefed the match commissioner about the treat received from Akabugu, my CSO, Terheba Iofa called me to say that Akabugu was in the hotel with five boys armed with guns, saying we must pay him the N700, 000 owed him while he was with us, else he was going to take him (Terheba Iofa) along with him.
With this, I appealed to the match commissioner to follow me to the hotel, along with the Bayelsa State FA secretary and Ocean Boys FC secretary. On getting there, the armed boys had left but two others were with him (Okey Akabugu). One of them was recognized to be a mobile policeman.
After being pacified by the match commissioner, the five boys later came to the hotel, shouting by the gate which was locked. With this, I was advised by my CSO and vice chairman to leave Yenagoa as it wasn’t safe for us. We concluded that it was a sponsored attack being that we have played in Yenagoa for three seasons now since Okey Akabugu left Lobi.
On his part, the media officer of Ocean Boys, Edward Ehis said, “Okey Akabugu only went to the hotel to discuss with his former club on how and when they want to pay him his money that is all.
At match venue, nobody saw Lobi Stars and the walk-over modalities was done. As I am speaking to you, we just got filler that somebody told the match commissioner not to add in his report that he did not have a walk-over,” he said.
Reacting to the statement that Ocean Boys sponsored the attack, Ehis said, “there is no way we would have done that. Everybody knows that there have been so many gang up against us since the beginning of this season. Let them tell us if a police man is a thug or a peace broker,” Ehis asked.