By Nick Dugba and Samson Zanunga
The need to reorganize and reposition the State’s Football Club, FC Taraba, was given as the reason why its Chairman, Ishaya James Gani was sacked.
This was disclosed by the State Commissioner of Youth and Sports, Gambo Ndafo, during an exclusive interview with TaraVoices in his office Friday.
According to Ndafo, the present administration met the club in a deplorable state in 2015 when they were about to go on relegation, but worked hard to settle its liabilities and ensure they featured in away matches.
He traced the problem of the club to poor management which necessitated the recent decision.
“I even quarreled with the management of Taraba FC for mismanaging funds. I made sure the players’ bonuses were given to them. In fact, some of them complained to me that they do give them allowances of N200”, he revealed.
The commissioner also disclosed that plans were on the way to take the club on an international tour in order to expose and groom young players to become stars at home and abroad.
“I want to tell you that we are here to do justice so that at the end God will not hold us responsible. Ours is to make a difference. In a short while, I am taking FC Taraba somewhere”, he added.
He, therefore, acknowledged the fact that the rescue mission of Governor Ishaku could not be complete without sports and youth empowerment, and that the governor had a passion for sports.
Some days ago, the media was awash with reports that the team was held to ransom in a hotel in Abuja because they could not pay their hotel bills.
The club had engaged FC Abuja in one of the Nigeria National League (NNL) matches which ended 1-3 in favor of FC Abuja. It was then alleged that the following day being Saturday, the team’s bus was seized by the hotel management for failure to pay their hotel bills.
It was however speculated that the recent sack could not be unconnected to the utterances of the Chairman who bared his mind on the issue to the media as the dilemma lasted.
When contacted by Taravoices on phone to speak on the development, the sacked Chairman declined to speak but promised to speak to the press as soon as he gets back to Jalingo from Abuja.
Meanwhile, a source at the State football association was quoted as saying that, “the appointment of the club chairman was a prerogative of the Government with the FA advising where necessary.
“If the Government feels the chairman has breached the terms of the existing agreement with the appointee, the right thing to do is to ask him to step aside. So if it is for the restructuring and repositioning of the club, I believe the Government has thought it wise to do the necessary”.
Also, a member of the supporters club who spoke on condition of anonymity lamented the non-functioning of the supporters club under the sacked chairman.
“How can I know what caused the sack of the chairman? Since they came on board, that is the new management, they felt we were not important and don’t forget that our late FA chairman assisted us financially but now that he is no more, nobody cares about us. If the sack will change the fortunes of the club, I support it”, the source stated.