In any Team sport, it is the dream of most athletes to not only play,Captain but also Coach their national teams. That feat I thank God to have blessed me with but last week, I had no other choice but to resign as Chief Coach of the Super eagles.
In 8 months in Charge we have been blessed with spectacular results,14 games,1 official defeat and 1 from a friendly Game. Scoring 19 goals and conceding just 6. Climbing up 3 spots on the FIFA Ranking and all this achieved with a completely new and relatively young team.
So young, we were voted the world’s youngest team of 2015!
Why I Quit on the 25 Of February 2016.
I wrote an official legal binding demand letter to the Nigeria football federation through the General Secretary, requesting payment of salaries and bonuses that were already long due and pending. In my said demand letter I listed 11 unpaid heads and articles. These 11 articles included demand for all sums dating back to July 2015. I therein also specified that I was willing to wait only up to the 25 February, 2016 before seeking means to get relief.
Owed wages and accommodation were just 2 of these eleven articles.
My letter was sent by email and by registered courier, both went unacknowledged nor honoured.
This type of silence had become the new trend and my said demand letter was ignored just as my other e mails in the past weeks seeking support to prepare for the Egypt game.
Our national team was at the point requiring that all energies and efforts should be directed at the oncoming qualifiers against Egypt and not at my employers initiating distractions for myself, the coaching crew and the players.
Typical of these distractions, and without notice to me and in breach of our working agreement, the NFF rather chose the path of holding sessions on dismissing my assistant TIJANI BABANGIDA. They never gave reason(s) for the sack of Babangida.
I had thought, hoped and counted on the NFF giving the magnitude of the Egypt game to have directed robust and committed efforts towards the said game, for example initiating its technical committee in procuring technical details that we had requested for since July 2015 on Egypt.
Again some luxuries could have been shelved by the NFF to accommodate the outstanding bonuses for the players of the earlier qualifiers as the owed bonuses had become an issue with the players.
As I have often been treated, along with my coaching crew and players it is pertinent to note that days after my resignation and contrary to The NFF official press release and numerous interviews and misrepresentations and outright falsehood, my bank has confirmed that no payments whatsoever as alleged by the NFF has been made to me. (as at as this afternoon of the 29 of February 2016).
I dare say that the NFF I know would have made public, evidence of the said payment. I leave to the imagination of the public what conducts of this nature would do to our players just before vital games as often was the case.
It is not in doubt neither did the NFF deny that my hallmark was my insistence on true professionalism, merit and an unflinching patriotic zeal to see the Nigerian national team to a higher level and my tenure brought progress to our dear national team.
It is obvious that the NFF is at a loss as regards what to say, as they have never had a Coach ask them to keep their job as they often frustrate and use people (coaches) for scapegoats for their own short comings.
My grandfather thought us to not seek to be loved by everyone(as it was not only impossible but a sign of weakness) but seek to be respected by most for honesty,hard work and a strong work ethic.
As a Nigerian i can assure you you should not fear the Egyptians. Egypt is a good team but definitely far from the Egypt of 5 years ago and our new assembled team is definitely better. If we play with the philosophy and players I have put on ground,we will definitely beat Egypt home and away with a larger margin in Egypt! Remember we don’t concede easily anymore.
As stated in my resignation indicating my recourse to the termination clause as contained in our working agreement. I resigned due to numerous Contractual violations, lack of Support, Unpaid wages, Benefits to my players, Assistant Coaches and myself.
God bless Nigeria!