Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has celebrated the state’s football club, Lobi Stars for winning the recently concluded Nigeria Professional League (NPL).
In the spirit of the celebration, he directed the Commissioner for Finance to clear all the financial indebtedness of the state to Lobi Stars Football Club.
Ortom gave the directive on Wednesday in Makurdi when the officials of the club and the players led by its Vice Chairman, Mike Idoko, paid him a courtesy visit.
The governor said that even if there was no funds, the commissioner should borrow in order to offset the backlog of allowances owed the club.
”Wherever there are resources we will bring them out to celebrate the victory. I thank God for using Lobi Stars to bring joy to us. They have done us proud.
The club came top of the Nigeria Professional League (NPL) and were declared the winners last Friday.
This is also the first time the team has qualified for the Confederation of African Championship in the past 19 years.
Ortom who described their victory as good news said the victory of the club would trigger development in all facets of the state.
“This has shown that indeed, something good can come out of Benue. All the while you hear about killings, flooding, non-payment of salaries, kidnapping, armed robbery among others.
“But with this victory, you have rated Benue high and henceforth, Benue will not be heard with bad stories but our story will be that of victories, developments and God’s goodness,” he added.
He therefore directed the Bureau for Youths and Sports to revive the governorship competition in the state in order to catch the young ones early enough to replace the old ones that would retire someday.
Also speaking, the Deputy Gov., Engr Benson Abounu, who is also the chairman of the club commended the governor for his moral and financial support which enabled the club to come top of the league.
He pledged that the club would continue to do the state proud.
Earlier, the Vice Chairman/Technical Adviser, Mike Idoko, appealed to the governor to pay them their arrears of match bonuses owed them since 2016 to date.
The vice chairman also complained that the club lacked vehicles, stressing that even the ones they had were worn out and needed replacement.
He expressed hope that the club would win the Confederation of African Championship billed to kickoff in November.