The Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has been asked to stop claiming credit over the victory of Kano Pillars Football Club at the just concluded 2019 Aiteco Cup.
Kano Pillars defeated Niger Tornadoes 5-4 through penalties to win the cup after the match ended 0-0 at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kauna on July 28.
Mr Ganduje, at the government house on Monday, rewarded each of the players and officials with $1,000 each for winning the cup and pledged more incentives if they get more laurels this season, particularly in CAF champions league.
“We commend both teams and officials for making the state proud and also in bringing back the lost glory of the state in sports.
“A trophy which eluded our state for over 60 years is now won by this great team. We have every reason to rejoice with you our dear Pillars,” the governor had said.
However, the spokesperson for PDP governorship candidate during the 2019 elections in Kano, Sanusi Dawakin-Tofa, in a statement on Tuesday claimed that the football club won the cup without the support of the state government.
He further claimed that Mr Ganduje had denied “all the required privileges” that the football club needed to succeed.
Read the full statement below:
The recent historic victory of the Kano Pillars Football Club at the just concluded Federation Cup also known as Aito Cup held in Kaduna is indeed the outcome of the determination and resilience of the members of the Kano Pillars team and not as a result of any conscious effort of the Kano state government. While celebrating and congratulating Masu Gida for the success recorded. We wish to unequivocally state that the Kano Pillars team won the 2019 Federation Cup through strong team spirit and tenacity. Therefore, the Kano State Government should have no reason to claim credit of a success it has never contributed to.
From 2011 to 2014 during the second tenure of former Kano State Governor Sen. Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso the team won the National Premier League 3 three times in a row. In 2015 Governor Ganduje became the state governor by winning the 2015 elections with a landslide victory due to the support he got from the Kwankwasiyya. The Kwankwasiyya bequeathed to the Governor a lot of goodwill ranging from wide spread citizenry support and good fortunes in governance to a vibrant football team that was highly motivated with potentials to win the African Continental Champions League.
However, in the last four years Governor Ganduje has squandered all of that goodwill and fortunes by treacherously biting the finger that fed him and attempting to destroy the movement that brought him to power and its leadership. His administration has unfortunately been characterized by ill-fortunes and sadly the Kano pillars team also received a fair share of this bad omen through underfunding and neglect and politicization of leadership of the club. Due to this attitude throughout those four years the team has failed to win a single competition.
Consequently, it is our belief that the Ganduje administration which illegitimately occupies the governorship seat through electoral malpractice during the 2019 general elections has refused to bury himself in shame for taking the state into the extreme level of infirmity in all critical sectors of the economy, sports inclusive. A good example of this ill-will as it affects sport is the multi-million naira Kano State Sport Institute, at Karfi along Zaria-Kano express way, established by the Kwankwasiyya administration which was one of the giant strides that underpin a rapid sport development in the state but has been closed down from inception of the Ganduje led administration. It is therefore our hope and prayer that our lawyers and judges will do the right thing by giving back to the people of Kano their rightful mandate and returning the state onto the trajectory of development and progress.
Finally we urge Masu Gida Kano Pillars, not to relent on their efforts in making the state proud irrespective of the consistent neglect by the present state government for not improving the functionality of the team, denying it all the required privileges and it is our prayer that the club emerges victorious in the forthcoming African Continental Champions League.