State govt accuses FC Taraba officials of inciting players’ protest
The ongoing crisis in the FC Taraba camp yesterday took a different dimension when the state government pointed accusing fingers at some of the officials of the club, accusing them of instigating the players against the state.
The players, who have been protesting their 12 months unpaid salaries and match bonuses, The Guardian observed, have in the past one week been sleeping at the entrance gate of the Government House, Jalingo.
But not comfortable with the action of the players, the state’s Commissioner of Information, Anthony Damburam, noted that the governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku, has been working round the clock to address their grievances.
Wondering why some of the club officials deliberately refused to appear before the committee assigned with the responsibility of looking into the plight of the players, the government, according to him, “hoped that this action of the players is not being fuelled by some of the government officials.
He accused the suspected government officials behind the protest as “responsible for the shady financial deals uncovered in the report,” adding, “some of them, including the club consultants, are understood to have refused to appear before the committee to explain their roles in the present state of affairs in FC Taraba.”
He said the committee’s report revealed that the club had no financial records and operated without a bank account.
The commissioner added that the committee “discovered that the consultants as well as the coaching crew conspired and smuggled in fictitious names of players, advisers and coaches, among others, thereby increasing the number of people drawing salaries from FC Taraba.”
These fraudulent activities, he said, catapulted the amount owed the players to over N200 million.
He said the government expected the players to forward their grievances by writing and not by “taking over the Government House because that was not part of their contractual agreements.”
When contacted by, FC Taraba Chairman, Daniel Ishaya Gani, said rather than apportioning blames, the government should endeavour to pay the players their entitlements, saying that the consultant, a former Super Eagles player, Tijani Babangida, has joined by the national team as an adviser to Coach Sunday Oliseh.
Gani, who said he has been trying to pacify the players, revealed that majority of those being accused by the government of inciting the players have left the state.
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