The Executive Governor of Niger state, Abubakar Sani Bello has been blasted by his people for visiting Stamford bridge, North London to watch the Chelsea-Arsenal match amidst the financial crisis rocking the state.
Many residents of the state have described the governor’s visit to Stamford Bridge as ‘frivolous’ and a waste of state resources.
But the governor claimed that he was at Stamford Bridge to watch the match at the instance of Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi, who plans to set up a football academy in the state.
“I was at Stamford Bridge to watch the derby between Chelsea and Arsenal at the invitation of John Obi Mikel,” he tweeted.
According to him, Mikel approached the state government to partner with the state in developing its sports, stressing that it will be wrong to turn down an investor who is willing to invest in the state.
The governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Ibraheem Dooba, said he was in Europe and his visit to Stamford Bridge was part of his itinerary since he was to meet other international development partners, adding that he was invited by Mikel.
But a trader in the state, Moses Akwu said, “Things are hard for us in Niger while our governor is travelling to watch matches. I heard they said he was invited but is it not government resources that he used to go on the trip?
“We did not vote him in to go watch football, we voted him because we want him to work and bring back the lost glory of the state.
“Watching matches is not governance, it is absolute recklessness.”