Taiwo Awoniyi has pleaded with the Cross River State Government to redeem the house pledge made to the team following their heroics at the 2013 U-17 World Cup in Qatar.
Sunday, November 8, marked the seventh anniversary when the coach Manu Garba-led side extended the country’s grip on the cadet trophy with her fourth title.
The Cross River State Government promised the Golden Eaglets team (21-man squad and 10 officials) houses when he hosted the squad at the Government House in Calabar seven years ago after their triumph at the tournament.
“Governor Ben Ayade, please fulfil the house pledged players and officials of the U-17 World Cup-winning team by the Cross River State Government since 2013.
“God bless you as you do,” Awoniyi who scored four goals at the tournament wrote on Instagram.
Garba who led the team in 2013 also said the government of Cross River had redeemed the pledge he made to the Super Eagles in 2013 but failed to fulfil his promise to the U-17 team.
“It is true, absolutely true. We camped in Calabar during our preparation for the tournament and when we won the World Cup, the governor then hosted the team in Calabar and made the pledge but since then nobody has heard anything from the Cross River government.
“It’s unbelievable that we have yet to be given these houses after we won the U-17 World Cup and celebrated by everybody.
“In fact, we were most impressed when Senator Imoke said in the presence of the then Minister of Youth and Sports Development Bolaji Abdullahi, former NFF President Aminu Maigari and members of his cabinet, that he preferred house gifts as a lasting legacy than monetary rewards but it’s unfortunate that after all these years, we are still waiting for the houses to be delivered to the players and officials.”
Garba’s assistant and former African Footballer of the Year, Emmanuel Amuneke, also added that it was incumbent on Governor Ayade to fulfill the promises since they were made on behalf of the people and government of Cross River State, adding posterity will be kind to him if he redeem pledges expressively given to the Golden Eaglets.
“There is no way you want to write the story of the 2013 Golden Eaglets’ World Cup-winning squad without mentioning the people and government of Cross River State because they were part of the team’s success story,” Amuneke said.
“We would like to use this opportunity to beg current Governor Ben Ayade to fulfil this promise of house gifts to the players and officials of the team when we are all still alive, the labour of our heroes past as a matter of fact, should not be in vain.”