Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The chairmanship candidate for the Ebonyi State Football Association, Jacob Onu, has expressed confidence that he would defeat the incumbent, Senator Obinna Ogba, in the forthcoming June 1 state FA election.
Onu, while speaking with sports writers in Abuja, noted with dismay, the dearth of football in his state in the past 16 years after the exploits of defunct Ebonyi Angels and Ebonyi Queens in the men’s and
women’s football categories respectively.
He also regretted that the incumbent chairman had practically dragged football in the state to its untimely grave, adding that rather than realising the damage he had done to the state, the sitting senator was more concerned about continuing in the office as the state’s FA chairman.
He further noted that it was time up for Senator Ogba and his cronies to give chance to quality hands to run the day-to-day affairs of football in the state, stressing that Ebonyi could no longer be tagged as state where football is dead.
Onu wondered why Ogba could be satisfied with answering chairman of Ebonyi State FA while there was no football club in the state at all levels, lamenting that it was so bad that the only club representing the state in the NFF Federation Cup is from Abia State which means Abia State had to lend a club to Ebonyi State to represent it at the Federation Cup.
“We cannot continue to fold our hands and watch one man bury football in our state after killing it. We have been helping other states to develop their football but when it comes to Ebonyi State, the Ogba-led gang scares everybody away even when they have nothing to give.
“Look at our youths littered everywhere on the streets, hawking and running after moving vehicles in the name of trading. These boys can do very well in football in particular and sports in general, but because there is no programme for them, their talents are wasted. I have come to put a final full stop to that by becoming the next Ebonyi state FA chairman,” he said.
He noted that despite the state being blessed with a football loving governor, Dave Umahi, who constructed one of the best stadia in the country in Abakiliki, the ineptitude of the state FA had dwarfed the achievement to the extent that even at the Glass House headquarters in Abuja, they do not know if football is played in Ebonyi.
“I am not joking. Go to NFF and mention Ebonyi, they will ask you if
football is played in that area. It is not their fault at all. When, from year to year, no registration comes from the state either in the three tiers of the league or the Federation Cup. It is a shame and I have come to wipe that away.”