From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has pleaded with the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) not to discriminate against the female national team in the payment of bonuses and other emoluments.
Governor Bello, who was a Special Guest of Honour during a novelty match to commemorate the International Women’s Month Football Match at the FIFA Goal Project in Abuja on Saturday, insisted that the disparity in the payment of female and male national teams will no longer be acceptable.
Speaking after receiving the award, Governor Bello said: ‘This novelty match to mark the international Women’s Day 2021 is very special and it is tagged gender inequality in football. We are not saying equality but equity.
‘It is a situation where our players are winning trophy and medal and making us proud both in Nigeria, Africa and across the world but the commensurate pay is not giving to them is unacceptable.
‘We look at the situation where one day both the Super Eagles or other male teams fetch us two naira and our female team fetch us one naira, what we want is equity and none should be neglected.
‘I strongly advocate for equity as far as remuneration and packages are concerned. It should not only be in football but other sports across the country. Our female deserve to be given recognition even outside,’ he said.
Asked what the award given to him means to him, he said: ‘The award means so much to me. It means recognition, an encouragement to do more for the youths, and people of Kogi state, for the women, physically challenged and for our party the APC to continue to make Nigeria proud. It will also make us to prepare for the task ahead.’
On whether it will be a facilitator to his ambition to become president in 2023, he said: ‘I think it will be addition to the women, youths and others that are asking and urging me to declare and by the grace of God, I will not disappoint them when I will give them an affirmative answer.’
While commending Governor Bello, the Head of Women Football of the NFF, Amina Daura, expressed joy and satisfaction over the event, thanking the governor and others in attendance for honouring their invitation.