APC Unity Cup tears party apart
.Organizers accused of collecting bribes to favour particular state
By Ummi Ismaeel,
All Progressive Congress (APC) youth leader in Niger State, Sheriff Uthman bin Adam, has condemned alleged financial inducement, causing poor officiating of the ongoing APC Unity Cup football competition in Abuja to favour a particular state that never did well.
Sheriff , who spoke in an interview in Minna, Niger State capital.
The state youth leader said that he was disappointed by the disposition of the organmizers, adding that, such friendly football match was expected to bring about unity among participating states as the name implies but was not.
Sheriff was particular about what he believed to be unfair and unjust treatment against Niger State team, accusing officials of the football event of collecting bribe from the benefiting north-eastern state at the detriment of others.
He expressed regrets that the ongoing football event caused division rather than bringing participating states together as one.
The competition, with 12 states participating, he said, however, paid a registration fee of N1.3 million each while some states which got early feelers of a deliberate plan of unfairly treatment refused to register for the competition.
“Almost all the state APC governors declined to attend the opening ceremony or to declare the championship open except Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubarkar Sani Bello, who did not only attend but accepted to officially declare it open and kick-started the match”.
He said, “The Governor declared the competition open as well watched the first kick-off to the end because of his love for youths, how they can be gainfully engaged and that is basically the reason we feel bad about the treatment meted out to Niger State contingent”.
One of the officials had asked Niger state team to withdraw from the competition, such an open injustice and lack of fair play, Sherif pointed out and therefore demanded that the organizers and officials be investigated of corrupt tendencies by relevant agencies.
Sheriff further said, “A party that prides itself for fighting corruption should not allow its platform to be used by anyone under whatsoever guise to perpetuate evil publicly, especially in football match that had served as unifying factor for all human”.
The youth leader decried the way and manner Niger state players were publicly attacked, assaulted and intimidated on the field of play with the way the referees acting, not even warning their opponents when noticeable fouls were recorded but instead awarded penalties just to give opponents the goals they had been paid for.
While appealing for the intervention of the APC National Youth Leader to urgently set up a committee to investigate the alleged bribery allegations against officiating officials of the APC Unity Cup football championship, Sherif said that the issue if not resolve would affect future of the championship.
“We are calling on the national youth leader to intervene else youths from participating states would lose hope and confidence in the competition that was designed to favour some particular states under the control of opposition parties”.