From Chris Gaga, Makurdi
Winner of the 2017/2018 Nigerian Professional League, NPFL, Lobi Stars Wednesday presented their victory letter to Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom during a visit at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi.
Receiving the league Winners, Ortom said he was happy that good things could happen to the State apart from travails and sorrows of repeated Herdsmen attacks.
The governor directed the Commissioner of Finance to immediately compute and pay off all match bonuses owed the players.
Ortom prophesized that, “Benue State will no longer be heard for evil things. We will take up from this victory and celebrate good things from Benue.”
The governor who described the head coach of the team as a good manager said he was encouraged by the club’s victory, assuring that it will spur his government to even revive the annual governor’s Cup so as to discover more football talents in the State.
He promised sustained support to the club even as he assured them of a banquet soonest .
Presenting the letter of victory to the governor, the Chairman of Lobi Stars and Deputy Governor of the State, Engr. Benson Abounu thanked his Principal, Ortom for his moral, spiritual and financial support which has endeared the club’s victory.
Abounu who eulogized the head Coach, Solomon Ogbeide’s motivation also acknowledged the unity and teamwork of the players.
Earlier, the Vice Chairman of the Club, Dr Mike Idoko said they were happy to formally present Lobi Stars to the governor as Champions of the 2017/2018 NPFL.
The vice chairman explained that the club was fortunate to win the league by doctrine of necessity after their 24 match which saw the club at top of the league table with 43 points.
Dr Idoko affirmed that by the club’s victory, Lobi Stars would play at the 2018 Confederation Cup(now Aiteo Cup) slated to begin this September 5, after which the winner shall represent Nigeria at the CAF League Cup.
He appealed to the governor look into other logistics demands of the Club especially official vehicle for key management heads and applauded his players for their good behaviour.
Captain of Lobi Stars, Anthony Abaji thanked the governor and management of the club for their firm support and promised to bring home the CAF Cup for the Nation.
It is the second time Lobi Stars football club of Makurdi will be crowned Champions of the NPFL after they won the league in 1999. They are also not the first to be given the Cup before the determination of the expected 38 games. Recall that Ocean Boys of Yenegoa were in 2006 Crowned champions in same manner of the league.
The abrupt end of the 2017/2018 NPFL is as a result of the leadership Crisis that have engulfed the NFF leading to delay in the planned activities.