Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu
Rangers players and officials are allegedly worried that they may not get the plots of land promised them by the Enugu State Government for winning the Premier League title, 32 years after they won the crown in 1984.
In appreciation of their efforts, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, on December 19, 2016, announced that the players and the coaching staff would get N41.5m, and a plot of land each at the Rangers Estate, Enugu.
But, about eight months after, the players and their officials have not been given the plots of land, although they have received the monetary gift.
Currently, some of the players and officials, including title-winning coach Imama Amakapabo, are no longer with the Enugu side, who were beaten 2-0 by Kano Pillars in their league game in Kano on Sunday.
The result has plunged the Nigerian champions into a relegation dogfight and caretaker coach Chukwuma Agbo’s job has come under threat.
Sources close to the team told our correspondent that the delay in allocating the plots of land had been affecting the performances of the players, who fear the state government may not fulfil its promise.
They are allegedly worried that the promise could end like the ones made to players by some states and Federal Government that were never fulfilled.
“Some of the players are worried about the delay in the allocation of the plots of land, they are eager to take possession of them,” one of the sources said.
“They feel they deserved more than the money they received as reward for winning the league but they know that the plots of land would go a very long way to make up for that. They see the plots of land as the major reward.”
Another source said, “Plots of land, particularly in choice locations, are very valuable in Enugu and their value keep rising by the day, so it is understandable that the boys would be eager to receive their allocations and do whatever they wish to do with them. It is clear that Rangers players lack motivation this season.”
But spokesman for the club, Forster Amadi, who confirmed that the players had yet to receive the plots of land, said the development had nothing to do with the team’s poor performance in the league.
“I wouldn’t say so,” Amadi said when our correspondent asked whether the development had undermined performance on the pitch.
He said the state government had assured the players and coaching staff that they would be given their plots of land.
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