By Taiwo Ibrahim
Winning a league title comes with excitement, joy and a feeling of fulfilment just like a student who just passed his/her entrance examination.
But the joy of Plateau United players who won the club’s first -ever NPFL title in 2017 soon fizzled out after all the promises made to them by Governor Simon Bako Lalong failed to see the light of the day.
The club finished four points clear over MFM FC in 2017 in an historic season, where they garnered 66 points from 38 games, scoring 49 goals and conceding 25 goals.
There was joy all over the state and the Governor also congratulated the team for the outstanding feat, the fans celebrated wildly too.
But five years after, the players who gave their sweat, blood to bring joy to the state are crying to get what the Governor promised them.
Governor Simon Bako Lalong hosted the team to a lavish dinner worthy of a victorious team.
He promised the players and other members of the coaching crew 1.5 million naira each with a plot of land, Kenedy Boboye, the head coach was promised 2.3 million naira and a plot of land.
Majority of the players have left the club without getting anything close to what the Governor promised them for bringing glory to the state.
Some are battling injuries and they need money to money to get proper treatment, some are clubless they need money to keep body and soul together, to feed their families.
Some of the players spoke to Sportivation Media on their travails.
Olowo Emmanuel, who made 17 appearances for the club during 2016/2017 title-winning season has urged Governor Simon Bako Lalong to remember them and fulfil his promise to the players.
“I want to urge the Governor of Plateau State, his excellency, Governor Simon Bako Lalong to look into our matter, it has been five years of pain, suffering for us after winning the first-ever NPFL title for the club.
“We have decided not to protest because we believe in the Governor and we know as a father to all he would redeem his promise”.
“Some of the players are out of job, they can’t even fend for themselves, some are currently clubless with the future looking bleak for them, the money would go a long way in helping them”.
“I sustained a knee injury during my stay at Plateau United which ended my career as a footballer, the late chief coach, Audu Pele, who played a very important role that year. his family needs the money”.
Olowo Emmanuel concluded that they will not give up until the Governor heed to their cry.
Another prominent member of the team who prefers anonymity, expressed his disappointment after five years of neglect.
“I am not happy that we are yet to get the money and a plot of land that the Governor promised us since 2017 and we are yet to get any information concerning it. this is so heartbreaking many of us are clubless and we feed from hand to mouth”.
“I want to beg Governor Simon Bako Lalong to see to our needs, we are suffering, we need the money and other promises he made to us to be fulfilled”.
A key player of the team who does not want his name mentioned went down memory lane to describe a night of joy which eventually turned into a “No Show”.
“I can still remember the reception at the Government house that night when the Governor made the promise, saying for putting smiles on the faces of Plateau people and bringing the trophy to the state, he would do what no Governor has done before that each player will 1.5 million naira each and a plot of land”.
“We were all happy, we waited the firs year nothing happened, some players were dropped from the team after that season some sustained injuries which stopped them from playing because there was no money for surgery”.
“It has not been easy for some of us coach Audu Pele is late his family are struggling, I believe this money will go a long way to help them. We are begging the Governor to hear our cry we don’t have pensions”.
“I was part of the team that won the NPFL title with Plateau United in 2017 and the Governor hosted us and made a promise of 1.5 million each and a plot of land, five years after we are yet to get anything, it is so painful we are not happy at all after bringing such honour to the state we are not being appreciated you can imagine winning the league without nothing to show for it. we are pleading for him to redeem his promise now that he is still on seat. another player lamented bitterly”.
Majority of the players who spoke with Sportivation Media said they have been struggling and they want the promises to be fulfilled to serve as a reward for them having gave their all for the club to make history.