Monday, May 16, 2011

Police barricade Bayelsa Utd camp

Fresh trouble has erupted at the camp of former Nigeria Premier League (NPL) champions, Bayelsa United, in Yenagoa following armed policemen taking over their hotel entrance.
A defender of the club, Jerome Ezoba, told that they woke up to find mobile policemen laying siege to their Blue Ways Hotel camp in Yenagoa.
Ezoba claimed that Bayelsa United chairman, Victor Baribote Rumson, had ordered the policemen to mount the gate and ensure that no player leaves the hotel camp.
The Bayelsa United player also alleged that Rumson ordered the arrest of six playing personnel including him.
"The chairman on six occasions told mobile policemen to come and arrest six of us. He said we are the ring leaders in the peaceful protest that we embarked upon recently. But the players here have taken an oath that none of us will be arrested unless they arrest all of us," said Ezoba.
The six players are Ezoba, Kola Ige, Uche Okechukwu, Obi Oparaogu, Ebiti Timimi and Suleiman Mohammed.
Ezoba also lifted the lid on the amount owed him and his colleagues saying: "Two seasons ago we were paid only 30 per cent of our signing fees. Last season nothing was paid and it is the same this season with 10 matches left to end the season. The only amount we have collected this season is N180,000 each and that is for old players while new players got N50,000 each.
"As I speak to you now we are yet to get our April salary. Also, we have not collected match bonuses since last year. From my own estimation, Bayelsa United owe me nothing less than N8 million."
But Rumson dismissed the allegation of Ezoba saying he never ordered the arrest of any player.
The Bayelsa United chief countered in his reaction that Ezoba and five others have been suspended indefinitely for leading the team on a protest.
Rumson also claimed that the presence of the policemen at the Blue Ways Hotel camp of the National Division One League is to ensure safety of officials and properties.
"The players have resorted to violence by beating up the team driver and even the curator and that's why there's a presence of security men at their camp so that we can issue the six players who are their ring leaders letters of suspension.
"I don't have a problem with them protesting for their rights but it is wrong to beat up club officials and even steal from the club. The problem on ground is not peculiar to Bayelsa United alone as other clubs in the country owe their players too," Rumson told
Ezoba denied the allegation of players attacking club officials.
"No player has done that. It is not true because those officials are also being owed like us. How can we attack our own officials for nothing?" said Ezoba.
Bayelsa United were relegated in the 2009/2010 season after winning the Nigerian topflight a season earlier.
Since relegation, the club have lost notable stars such as goalkeeper Bassey Akpan, Chibuzor Okonkwo, Osas Okoro, Stanley Ohawuchi, Bernard Okorowanta and Andrew Michael to rival clubs.

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