Niger Gov Under Fire Over Trip To Watch Chelsea, Arsenal Game | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Niger Gov Under Fire Over Trip To Watch Chelsea, Arsenal Game

Posted: Sep 22, 2015 at 3:41 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)


Efeiri-Omolabi Oziegbe


Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani has been condemned for his trip to watch the English Premier League game between Chelsea and Arsenal football clubs at Stamford Bridge, London, United Kingdom, on Saturday, September 19, 2015.

Many residents of the state have come down hard on the governor, saying they did not vote him into power to go globe-trotting and watching football games.

Even some opposition politicians have picked up the cry, condemning Sani’s visit to the UK as “frivolous” considering the financial meltdown the state is facing.

However, the governor has justified his trip on the grounds that he was in London because he wanted to meet Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, who is set to establish a football academy in the state.

The governor said, “I was at Stamford Bridge to watch the derby between Chelsea and Arsenal at the invitation of John Obi Mikel.”

According to Sani, Mikel approached him to partner with the state in developing its sports.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ibraheem Dooba, said the visit was part of the governor’s plan to boost investments in Niger State, as well as to meet other international development partners.

A trader in the state capital, Minna, Moses Akwu, lamented that, “Things are hard for us in Niger; our governor is traveling to watch matches. I heard they said he was invited, but is it not government resources that he used to go on the trip?

“We did not vote him in to go watch football; we voted him because we want him to work and bring back the lost glory of the state. Watching matches is not governance, it is absolute recklessness.”