Fresh controversy has trailed the house promise made to the Golden Eaglets squad that won the 2013 U-17 World Cup in Chile by the Cross River State government, according to reports.
The government of Cross River State had promised the Golden Eaglets’ team (21-man squad and 10 officials) houses when the squad was hosted at the government house in Calabar seven years ago after their triumph at the tournament.
The current Commissioner for Sports in Cross River, Offa Aya, however told the press on Monday that the promise had been overtaken by events and that some members of the team have been trying to seek their land.
“How is that the problem of the Cross River State government,” Aya told newsmen.
“The government allocated lands to them in Akpabio and none of them have developed the land. If the government of (Liyel) Imoke promised them land or houses it has been overtaken by events but I’m sure there was no houses promised them.
“Some of them are trying to sell their land as I speak and I have their request for Certification of Occupancy with me,” he said.
When contacted, the former Commissioner for Sports in the state under the administration of Governor Liyel Imoke, Patrick Ugbe said, “Well that administration is no longer active and there is a new one on board. I don’t want to get into issues with anyone that’s why I have refused to make any comment all this while.
“The documents are there with regards to what the governor then (Liyel Imoke) promised the Golden Eaglets team, houses and not land.
“Though it was towards the tail end of the administration so a lot could not be done then.
“It’s the government that promises not Imoke so the government is still in place and that’s what I can say.”
Ugbe also revealed that the Imoke-led government redeemed its promise of land to the Super Eagles that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
“It was that same year that the Imoke government redeemed its promise to the Eagles so there was no way they were going to default if they were still in administration.”
Manu Garba who led the team in 2013 denied claims that some members of his team attempted to sell their houses promised them.
“How do you sell what you don’t have in your possession,” Garba queried.
“Maybe he wanted to say the Eagles because they were promised lands then and not houses.
“They should redeem their pledge.”