The controversy surrounding the supposed ban imposed on the Samson Siasia stadium by CAF, has continued to generate bad blood within the football community.
Reacting to the allegation that his company was behind the ban of the stadium, Ebi Egbe, CEO of Monimitchelle Sports Facility Construction Company, countered that it was a miscalculated attempt aimed at painting him in a bad light because of his political leanings and uncompromising professional ideologies.
” I laugh when I see Bayelsans who have been doing everything possible to destroy my hard earned brand using this opportunity of CAF circular that does not include Bayelsa Samson Siasia stadium as one of the approved stadiums for CAF champions league and CAF confederation cup preliminary rounds which Bayelsa United is participating as an opportunity to go for the kill.
” The provisional clearance given to Samson Siasia stadium was because I was on ground and the CAF inspectors saw me de-silting the Samson Siasia stadium pitch that have not been maintained for over 3 years, due to extreme high traffic.
” CAF inspectors saw me working on the pitch with the right equipments and materials and I assured them that the pitch would be ready before the Guinea game.
It’s a shame because for over 3 solid years we had an extremely high traffic on that turf with over 10 teams playing on it every single day coupled with the commercialisation of that pitch without recourse to maintanance. On completion, we dropped a maintanance proposal for 3.5m naira for the servicing of the pitch, track, floodlights, P.A system and scoreboard but it was all politicised at the detriment of the facilities.
Egbe lamented that his good nature and commitment to the development of Nigerian football has unfortunately, given room for bad blood and sheer jealousy by some people in sports community.
” Wrestling is not football, even in wrestling, venues get approval before any major competition. I was working at the stadium to get the pitch approved without any commitments from Bayelsa state government 4 weeks to our first game against Guinea.
” Instruction was sent from Government House for me to vacate the pitch because no one asked me to work on the pitch.
3 weeks to the Guinea game the commissioner of Sports, Daniel Igali, called for a proposal from Monimichelle to fix the pitch. My office sent the ministry our bill, Daniel Igali and his cohorts started playing dirty politics with our bill until 6 days to the Guinea game. He invited my team to discuss my bill which was N107 million Naira, at that time, I was already in lagos for the Dr Aisha Buhari FIFA international invitational tournament at the majestic Mobolaji Johnson Stadium.
“After de-silting and magnetic scanning of the pitch we had to reintroduce our stabilising infill and 80,000kg of FIFA approved 100% natural performance infill, repair of the damaged turf and get the pitch ready as required for a CAF game,” a bitter Egbe stated.
He continued; ” 5 days to the Guinea game, Daniel Igali and his team in a meeting with my staff, offered us 23 million Naira and asked us to only use 20,000 kg of performance infill and I declined. I declined because 20,000kg of performance infill cannot give a perfect foot stability and ball movement, but he disagreed.
” He showed his traits of the all-knowing, in sports management and facilities. Daniel Igali should understand that preparation for a top wrestling championship is just wrestling mat on the floor, preparation for a top football game like a CAF competition is very technical.
” That same morning, Daniel Igali sent me a WhatsApp message that he has already made his findings and he has other contractors that can get the job done cheaper. I asked him to go get the cheaper contractors that Monimichelle is not interested in working on the Samson Siasia stadium turf anymore,” he added.
” They went for their super contractor to do the job for them so how does that lead to sabotage from Monimichelle?” he asked rhetorically.
He continued, “Bayelsans should ask all those calling us names their contribution in that sports complex. In my 14 years in Bayelsa state, I have donated sports facilities free to Bayelsa state Government worth millions of naira, I have supported all sports not only football in Bayelsa state, during Coach Bosso time in Bayelsa United I have given the team for camping.”
” This is football, not wrestling. I challenge Daniel Igali to invite the EFCC to the Samson Siasia stadium complex and let’s see who will get indicted for a crime because he is also a contractor since 2008 in that sports complex to date and he has not delivered on any job.
” The allegations of N1.5 billion naira paid to monimichelle are all lies. Ask them who constructed the pitch, track, scorebord, seats, stadium public address system and floodlights?”, he further queried.