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Edo owes Amodu N25m, Reps want coaches immortalised

By Adamu Abuh, (Abuja) and Alemma-Ozioruwa Aliu, Benin
15 June 2016   |   1:03 am
The House of Representatives has enjoined the authorities to immortalise the late coaches of the Super Eagles Stephen Okechukwu Keshi and Amodu Shuaibu.
Amodu Shuaibu

Amodu Shuaibu

Orders entitlements paid to their families
The House of Representatives has enjoined the authorities to immortalise the late coaches of the Super Eagles Stephen Okechukwu Keshi and Amodu Shuaibu, who passed on recently. This comes on the heels of the revelation that the Edo State government owes Coach Amodu Shaibu N25 million.

At the plenary presided by Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, the lawmakers said there was the need to immortalise the coaches in view of their selfless services to the country.

Adopting a motion sponsored by Mr. Samuel Onuigbo (PDP, Abia), they also justified the call, saying it was based on the need to encourage the younger ones to always give their best for the development of the country.

The lawmakers, who observed a minute silence in honour of the deceased, thereby, mandated its Committee on Sports to liaise with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to ensure immediate payment of all entitlements due to them so as to cushion any pains and financial pressures on their respective families.

Onuigbo, who recalled how the late Stephen Keshi meritoriously served the country as both a player and captain of the Super Eagles, remarked that it was unfortunate that the nation lost its best hands in football administration.

He also described Amodu Shaibu as a dedicated and patriotic Nigerian who never failed to answer the call of his nation as he took the responsibility of coaching the super Eagles six times both on substantive and temporary basis.

“These two iconic Nigerians served the country meritoriously as coaches and now their demise is not only a huge loss to Nigeria and their families, but also to the international community as well and we can understand the pains both families and Nigerians are currently going through.

“Nigerians and the international community as a whole have lost the experiences of these patriots and heroes of football, whose services have been lost forever,” he said.

Onuigbo expressed worries about an information that Amodu was being owed arrears of salaries running into many months and was equally being owed by the Edo State Government, having worked as the Director of the State Youth Football. Development Agency, a position from which he resigned only last year.

Contributing to the motion, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (PDP, Abia) said: “The way we treat our national heroes in Nigeria is a sad commentary. Nigeria should wake up and stop playing politics with the lives of our professionals”.

The Guardian gathered that late Amodu and his team of seven assistants and four supporting staff were owed N25 million by Edo State government before his demise. He was until last year Consultant/Technical Adviser on Edo State Football Development Programme.

In a letter written by the late Amodu Shaibu to the Edo State governor in October 2015, the coach said the government owed him N6 million outstanding sign-on-fee for 2013/2014 for consultant/technical adviser, N3 million for house rent for two years (2012-2014 and 2013-2014) at N1.5m per year.

The N16 million balance, he added, represent payment for coaches and other supporting staff for the period of August 2014 – July 2015.
Part of the letter read “Sir, I have made several efforts through telephone calls and text messages to you to enable me sort out any issues that may have been misconstrued, but to no avail. I also tried to reach you through your close subordinates, but got no response.

“The only option was to relinquish my appointment and walk away as I have always done in offices where I experienced similar treatment in the past. But this will amount to disrespect to your office and disregard to your care for me and my family when we most needed it.”

Amodu reminded the governor of a similar appointment being offered him by the government of Ondo State, the same time he was approached by Edo State, adding that he chose his home state instead.

He also expressed his frustration that his monthly salaries were stopped with effect from June 2015 for no justifiable reasons.“This brought hardship to me and my family. Thanks for the understanding and patience of my landlord, I would have been thrown out of my rented apartment for failure to pay my house rent in the last two years.

“I have come to the sad conclusion of taking the part of honour by respectfully resigning my appointment as consultant/technical adviser of Football Development Programme in Edo.

“Although technically, my appointment seems to have been terminated by the Accountant General by the stoppage of my monthly salaries since June 2015, this my official resignation takes a retrospective effect from September 30th, 2015,” he stated in the letter .