Alleged Plan To Sell Sunshine Stars ‘ll Lead to Crisis, Football Stakeholder Warns ODSG 

By John Kayode

The Ondo State Football arena is on the verge of been thrown into crisis as the state government has perfected plans to sell off Sunshine Stars Football Club.

A competent source disclosed that the state Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his Deputy, Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa have put machineries in motion to sell off the football club set up by former Military Administrator of the State, Col. Ahmed Usman in 1995.

“It should be noted that, since the birth of the football club in Ondo State no Governor both military and Civilian have ever plan to sell the state the club, why now?”

The source added that the sales of  Owena Whales  has been placed in the  hands of Ondo State Information Technology Agency’s Chairman, Mr Olumbe Akinkugbe, an  ICT expert who established the first tripartite tech hub in Africa and who assiduously is coordinating bids of  interested foreign entrepreneurs. 

The total sale off  of the club was against the Public Private Partnership (PPP) idea muted by the government few weeks ago when he dissolved interim management committee headed by his deputy.

According to the statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Richard Olatunde on August 4, 2022; “Mr Governor  ordered the dissolution of the Ondo State Football Agency’s  Interim Committee headed by Deputy Governor and put  management of the Agency under direct supervision of the State Commissioner of Sports in line with extant laws that sets up the Agency  pending constitution of a proper Board. It also directed that efforts be intensified within one  year to find a suitable investor to take over the Sunshine Stars FC on a Public Private Partnership, PPP arrangement. “

A football Stakeholder and facilitator  of Ondofootballstakeholders Forum Otunba Dele Ologbese in chat with newsmen said It’s unfortunate that in the last few days plans were in the offing towards outright sale of the club despite total rejection of the idea by stakeholders. 

He added that “it’s mind blogging, that the state  government is executing selfish idea without  putting the common interests of Ondo State people into consideration. Despite all  assurances that the Club, which is Ondo State peoples” pride, treasure and heritage” wouldn’t be sold. 

Ologbese asked ; Who are the  people advising Mr Governor wrongly in taking this rash decision?

He said :”Is it not Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu we all knew was highly passionate football personality who heads youths wing of 3SC Supporters Club in  early 80s in Ibadan and made invaluable contributions towards the sector in the country or how come he’s no  longer interested in   growth and development of game of football in Ondo State?.” 

The current administration has not built a stadium at the State’s capital,  while the old one  built many years ago is yearning for serious attention!. 

“What legacies would Governor Akeredolu would  be remembered for after his exit from government in two years time if he sells the club and refuses to build Olympic size stadium like the international stadium Goodwill Akpabio built in Akwa Ibom which is the pride of the nation?. 

“We are surprised that the sales of the club is being vigorously pursued without caution and we have absolute believe the action would have negative affects on state’s intimidating soccer record and also affect the image of  Governor Akeredolu as  sports loving Governor in Nigeria. 

“It would further demonstrate to entire  world the incapability of Ondo State Government in managing ordinary    football club which are effectively managed for profit in other states.

“Let me reiterated again that the highly passionate and enthusiastic football stakeholders of Ondo State are seriously opposed to propose arrangement in selling the club including all its assets whose valuations are coordinated by the Deputy Governor. 

“Ologbese advised that the sector is money spinning if right attitudes and approaches are  explored by Government.  Sunshine Stars FC can be  transformed into a high class revenue yielding outfit like Enyimba FC, Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars and host of others if it pursues players marketing packages with vigour and right professionals put in place towards driving the   initiative effectively and efficiently.”

“It’s all about determination and high degree focus. If experts in players marketing are hired by Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA)Board after its inauguration in  few days time and necessary tools are  placed before them, Sunshine Stars FC would record more successes and it would break even financially without unnecessarily depending on government’s fundings at all times. 

He disclosed that stakeholders have the  identities of those misleading Mr  Governor in taking some of these unpleasant decisions, we are appealing to these unpatriotic people to  refrain from all actions  that could plunge the state’s football sector into unmitigated disaster. 

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