Super Eagles diary 2: What sabotage?

Day 2 of my stay in Abuja was supposed to be all about the Sudanese who I thought I would watch as they train in the evening.

The Eagles trained in the morning but I was too busy having breakfast in bed to hook up with them.

After that, I thought I could pay a visit to the Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo but could not track him.

Azubuike Fynecountry came over and spent some time with us while we planned on what to do with ourselves in the morning.

At about 2pm, our guide, @Kisulola came over and treated us to Amala and ewedu soup (that’s what I had) while Andrew Randa went for Pounded yam

The thing about this amala joint was that it reminded me of my days at the University of Port Harcourt where we would go and queue up to take our food.

People actually did that here, rather than just sit down and have a waiter attend to you.

Super Eagles no show

While on our way to the Super Eagles hotel, we put a call through to the media officer of the team, Ben Alaiya who said there was a directive given to bar the press so we thought not to bother but went to the hotel anyway.

Met Colin Udoh and his SuperSport Crew and watched them record an edition of popular show element on Naijamade, Who Sabi.

Then we were off to the stadium to watch the Sudanese train.

Sabotaging Stephen Keshi

On our way we discussed an email release by Emmanuel Ado trying the convince the world that there were people out to sabotage Stephen KEshi


I’m going to copy out the email below unedited so you can see.

FOOTBALL INSIDERS PLOT KESHI FALL


The Stephen KESHI must go campaign takes a dangerous dimension for the worst, as the KESHI haters’ devised some desperate measures to actualize their nefarious plan of humiliating the gaffaout of the national team.

In their bid to actualize their plan of getting him out at all cost, the group of highly connected football aficionados and their paid acolytes have concluded plans to embarrass the coach and the players of the a Super Eagles during their Wednesday African Nations Cup qualifier against Sudan in Abuja. To them, the nation can be humiliated provided it provided the leeway of sacrificing the Coach, who they see as the problem of the nation’s football.

These group of people led by a member of the board of the NFF, have consequently decided to rent a crowd of protesters to call for the immediate sack of Coach Keshi and the appointment of Shaibu Amadou as interim National coach to handle the remaining matches. “ As far as we are concern, this is payback time. He betrayed Aminu Maigari and the former board and thinks he can get away with it. We will teach him a lesion he will never forget”,he said jokingly.

The placards and T-Shirts for the demonstrations have been produced and distributed to the rented crowd, who will be deployed on match day to give the team serious psychological problem that will make them look as if they are playing away instead of home. The intention is to create an impression of a man that has lost support.
"Keshi and the players will be pelted with sachet waters and stones to humiliate them since the match will be transmitted live. The entire Africa will see that he is finished and there will be nowhere for him to hide".

The demonstration is aimed at further demoralizing the team and ensuring that NIGERIA is defeated, that is the only condition that will compel the Federal Government to back off from protecting him.
" Our hands are tied on the issue of KESHI. Hence  the only way Stephen Keshi who has the backing of government can be sacked is the defeat of NIGERIA by Sudan on Wednesday and we have resolved to work for the Sudanese to actualize our plan" said the source close to the president of the federation.

The newly  elected president who has boasted severally of his determination to do away with the coach told close associates that "we have Keshi where we want him. One more match and he will be history".

The group resorted to these desperate measures following their failure to get government backing for the sack of award winning Coach.

According to Sources close to Amaju, a top National Security Officer, whose office has been allegedly harassing the former president Aminu Maigari  is the one protecting KESHI." this is the reason why we are mobilizing public opinion of most Nigerians against him. “So barring any breach in the arrangement, Nigerians will be amazed come tomorrow”.

Facts from sources close to Pinnick


This email was sent late on Monday and I received a forwarded copy on Tuesday afternoon.

We basically laughed off this mail but two hours after I arrived at the stadium, just after the Sudanese finished training and we saw a group of boys, who from their looks, accent and dressing seemed of northern Nigerian extraction.

They were carrying placards with hurriedly written words like, “Keshi Must Go, we are tired” Keshi is too arrogant, Eagles play like pregnant women, Keshi is confused, who those are sabotaging him.

In all honesty they were a rag tag group of boys and who ever got the contract to hire them did a shoddy job, but the question that kept ringing in my head was, “Emmanuel Ado was not wrong when he said there would be an attempt by a sponsored group to stage a protest against Stephen Keshi.

But is this what Keshi meant by sabotage? Is it?

I also asked around and gathered it would be worse on match day.
  
The Sudanese

Earlier the Sudanese trained but before they did they ensured stadium security did not let anyone watch their sessions, well er, except the press who watched from quite a distance.


When they were through, their coach, Mohamed Abdallah said the national stadium pitch was good because we were Nigeria and were expected to have good pitches, he said Keshi was his friend and they are both under pressure because that was the lot of coaches and he said he feels he is under more pressure now than before because after beating Nigeria they stand a chance to qualify.


Will Keshi stay or go?

Right there in the media tribune while watching the Sudanese train some journalists got into arguments on the quality of the Super Eagles team, how good Keshi is, would we qualify or not and if Keshi was going to be sacked but I couldn’t be bothered with that because it was a needless argument.

I spotted the media officer of the girls U17 team, the Flamingoes, Jennifer Okoye who I hadn’t seen since the AFCON in Ghana in 2008 and we got talking to catch up on old times.

Below us, another group of journalists discussed John Mikel Obi’s altercation with a female journalist the previous day.

Some said he shoved her away, others said he verbally abused her but I couldn’t get one person who saw the incident so I decided not to take it as seriously as I should.


How to end your working day in Abuja?

I got a call from Nduka (Not Irabor but Orjinmo). He was on his way to my hotel so we could hang out.

The rest as they say is now history.

Tomorrow the Eagles are expected to fly high above Sudan. They really have no choice in the matter.








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