By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has expressed surprise at the inability of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to pay the Super Eagles their match allowances in the ongoing African Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt, even after he signed for the release of he funds.
The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong disclosed this to State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor was a member of the Federal Government delegation to the tournament and returned to Nigeria on Sunday.
According to him, “I came in to have a discussion with Mr. President, as many of you know that I just came back from Egypt where we went to cheer our Super Eagles and I also brought him the concerns of our players over there and he promised to handle the matter immediately.
“Because football is a unifying factor in Nigeria, we shouldn’t joke with it, if they bring back the Cup, it will cement our relationship and that is one of it.
“Many of the concerns raised were that their allowances were not paid and Mr. President expressed surprise that he signed these allowance and wondered why they are not paid to them.
“I was a footballer, it’s not like before when you play football out of patriotism, now it’s combined with the economic aspect. When you bring people, definitely from the Ministry, you must ensure that their allowances are paid.
“We went there for the joy of it and the day we were there they won their match but when we left yesterday, I understand they lost to Madagascar. Defeating Guinea and allowing Madagascar to defeat us is a surprise, but I think with good motivation, these boys would bring back the Cup.”