Abia State’s Governor, Mr. Alex Otti, has sent his congratulations to Enyimba International FC of Aba for claiming its eighth Nigerian Premier League (NPL) championship this past weekend.
The triumph, according to Otti, was not only thrilling but also a promise of better things to come during his administration’s brief two-week existence.
Following their victory last Sunday in Lagos’ 2022–23 NPL Super 6 Playoffs, The People’s Elephant won their ninth league trophy.
Otti expressed his gratitude to the people of Abia, who have consistently supported their beloved team, in a message of congratulations that was signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kazie Uko.
The governor acknowledged the importance of Enyimba’s accomplishment, citing it as the second-most significant event for Abians this year, behind the election that gave him power on March 18, 2023.
“This is a win for the scarred Abia people, who have suffered for a very long time. We are pleased that it is occurring under our supervision so early. For our state and its citizens, it is a portent of brighter things to come, the overjoyed Abia chief executive exulted Tuesday.
“I would like to congratulate Enyimba, also known as the People’s Elephant, on this thrilling triumph. Also deserving of praise is the club’s administration and Senior Special Assistant on Sports, Mr. Chinedu Ekeke, for their tenacity in seeing to it that the team took part in that event in Lagos.
Otti recalled that Enyimba was on the verge of missing out on the Super 6 playoffs because of the club’s financial hardships following the change in government.
“At one point, it appeared that their participation wouldn’t be possible due to a lack of funding,” he stated. We had recently started working here. However, we banded together to collect money for the club.
The Enyimba players reportedly chatted with the new governor of Abia just before they took the pitch against Rivers United in their pivotal semi-final match. The Enyimba team played to a 1-1 draw, which was enough to win them the trophy and lift their spirits.
The 100 million dollars in prize money that Enyimba International received, however, is conditional upon player acquisition and infrastructural improvement at the club, according to the Interim Management Committee.
During a meeting with the NPFL Club Chairmen on Monday in Lagos, the Chairman of the NPL Interim Management Committee (IMC), Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, presented the charge to the Club Chairman, Felix Anyansi Agwu.
In order to strengthen the club’s ability to compete favourably on the continent and fulfil the infrastructure requirements set by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for hosting the CAF Champions League, Elegbeleye explained that the prize money, which would be credited to the club’s bank account within the week, had been tied to the club’s ability to do so.
“Let me once more congratulate Enyimba International on becoming the winners; however, it must be noted that a portion of the money is attached to specific projects in accordance with the development trajectories of the IMC and our investment partners, GTI.
“Of the 100 million, the club must spend at least 25 million on the acquisition of quality players to bolster their roster and be able to successfully represent the nation in the CAF Champions League next season.
“An additional 25 million of the prize money must be used by the club to upgrade stadium amenities that have been determined to fall below acceptable standards, with the remaining 50 million at the club’s discretion to be used as it sees fit.”