The Special Adviser to Governor Alex Otti on Media and Publicity, Ferdinand Ekeoma, and former Chief Press Secretary to former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Onyebuchi Ememanka, have engaged each other in a war of words over the poor conditions of Enyimba International Stadium, Aba, Abia State.
While Ekeoma had, in his recent online article, shown some dilapidated parts of the Enyimba Stadium, Ikpeazu’s media spokesperson, Ememanka, in his reply, absolved the former Governor’s administration of being responsible for the decay.
Ekeoma, who quoted the Chairman of Enyimba, Kanu Nwankwo, as telling him that 24 match bonuses and three months’ salaries were not paid to players, also disclosed that Kanu told him recently that players were secretly sold by those in charge of the club and the proceeds allegedly put in private pockets.
“The Super Eagles legend was angry that the agents of the same government that superintended the grounding of Enyimba were attacking and vilifying him for daring to initiate a process of reorganizing and sanitizing the Club and made it clear to me that his target going forward was to begin the process of building a formidable structure that would ensure that Enyimba becomes very successful.
“Anyone who sits down and listens to Papilo would easily see experience, exposure, knowledge, passion and understanding of the job given to him. Papilo is poised to go beyond winning trophies, to building a brand that would be reckoned with. He wants to lay a solid foundation for institution-based success and sustainability”, Ekeoma said.
He further asked, “How can one explain that a club like Enyimba didn’t have a dime in its coffers ahead of the Super Six they won recently and therefore had to make a request to Dr. Alex Otti and subsequently got several millions of naira from him at a time he had not been sworn in as Governor.
“The question is; what would have been the fate of the club if Dr. Otti hadn’t the money to give?”
Ekeoma further said that the Abia Warriors Football Club of Umuahia was also finding itself in a bad situation, which, according to him, made Governor Otti appoint Coach John Obuh as the Umuahia-based team’s Chairman to salvage the situation.
He described the situations in Enyimba and Abia Warriors as “very disgraceful, which entailed that the Chairmen of the two clubs should be supported by all to succeed.”
However, Ememanka, in reaction, said the administration of his principal should not be blamed for any rot in Enyimba Stadium.
He tackled Ekeoma for posting pictures of dilapidated sections of the stadium on the internet and blaming Ikpeazu’s administration. He said the current administration in Abia has allegedly failed in its responsibilities of cleaning and securing the stadium.
The former CPS suggested that the Enyimba stadium should be cleaned and secured by the present administration, insisting that any noticeable rot or vandalism in the stadium happened after Ikpeazu’s administration had handed over power and, therefore, should not be blamed on Ikpeazu.
Ememanka further accused the present administration of allegedly abandoning the newly built government house in Umuahia and the garment factory in Aba to rot away.