Adeniyi Olugbemi, Sokoto

With an unimpressive 1 – 1 draw, away to El-Kanemi Warriors FC of Maiduguri and same scoreline at home against Abubakar Bukola Saraki, ABS, of Ilorin, the simmering crises brewing within Sokoto United FC, may derail the club promotion aspiration, not minding the state government huge investment in the club.

Investigation uncovered that a cross section of the club supporters are pointing accusing fingers at the direction of the state commissioner for youth and sports development, Comrade Bashir Gorau, of sabotaging the state government efforts on his alleged incompetence, greed and misappropriation of funds earmarked for the club.

Miffed by the latest scam rocking the purchase of a “new” 25-seater bus for the team, the embittered supporters hinted our correspondent that, they are collating dossiers on the commissioner’s misappropriation of funds entrusted to him.

They are accusing the youthful commissioner of fraudulently presenting a refurbished bus, allegedly not road worthy to the team, at a cost shrouded in secrecy. The “new” bus in its first trip outside the state, on the way to Zaria, for a pre-season tourney, broke down at Talata Mafara, a town 60km from Sokoto.

A player, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity informed that, “the team bus also broke down somewhere around Jigawa state and did not conveyed the team to Maiduguri, for our first league match against El Kanemi Warriors FC.

“Unfortunately, the same scenario played out on our trip to Damaturu, for our second league match, away to Yobe Desert Stars. The vehicle broke down at Tureta, just about twenty minutes after our take-off.

“This three disruptions actually took it toll on our psyche, morale and our performances. I think, the earlier the better this ugly travel disruptions is addressed, for the good of the team and the state government, its sole financier.”

The supporters also has an axe to grind with the commissioner on the maladministration embedded in the running of the affairs of Sokoto United FC.

They pointed out that contrary to the NFF rules of constituting management team in running the affairs of clubsides, the commissioner, Comrade Bashir Gorau, unilaterally run the day-to-day administration of the club via, proxy.

They alleged that, “Sokoto United FC, is being runned by the unknown trio of Team Coordinator, Legal Adviser and Media Officer, who according to the commissioner, are all based in Kaduna state. The club head coach and his assistant, are also from Kaduna state.

“The club long-time Team Manager, Welfare Officer and the most indigenious coach had been shoved aside, for the commissioner to have unquestionable control over the affairs and finances of the club.

“To our dismay, the state resources being channeled to fund the club is of no benefits to the indigenes. Out of the 35 players showcasing their talents and earning salaries from the club, only 12 are indigenes of Sokoto state while, the rest 23, were not better than our indigenous footballer, that are even in surplus.

“Worst of all, the team captain, an indigene, who have been serving the club for more than ten years, was demoted and, his salary was reduced from ₦120,000.00 to ₦100,000.00, same treatment was meted to the assistant captain, also an indigene.

“Whereas, many of the newly recruited players from outside the state were placed on a salary of ₦150,000.00.”

“We are not stopping on Sokoto United FC alone but, extending our searchlight to the state lacklustre performance at the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival, the National Youth Games held last year in Ilorin, Kwara state, and the jamboree trip to Morocco, in the name of participating in a handball tournament.

“Failure on the part of the state government to properly investigate our submission, we will be left with no option than to move a step further and, petition anti – graft agencies,” the enraged supporters posited.

Efforts to get the reaction of the commissioner, Comrade Bashir Gorau, to the allegations levelled against him proved abortive.

Several calls put accros to all his four mobile phone lines by our correspondent were not answered. Even SMS messages sent to his lines, were not replied as at the time of going to press.