Super Eagles diary 2: What sabotage?

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3
Day
2 of my stay in Abuja was supposed to be all about the Sudanese who I thought I
would watch as they train in the evening.
The
Eagles trained in the morning but I was too busy having breakfast in bed to
hook up with them.
After
that, I thought I could pay a visit to the Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo but
could not track him.
Azubuike
Fynecountry came over and spent some time with us while we planned on what to
do with ourselves in the morning.
At
about 2pm, our guide, @Kisulola came over and treated us to Amala and ewedu
soup (that’s what I had) while Andrew Randa went for Pounded yam
The
thing about this amala joint was that it reminded me of my days at the
University of Port Harcourt where we would go and queue up to take our food.
People
actually did that here, rather than just sit down and have a waiter attend to
you.
Super Eagles no
show
While
on our way to the Super Eagles hotel, we put a call through to the media
officer of the team, Ben Alaiya who said there was a directive given to bar the
press so we thought not to bother but went to the hotel anyway.
Met
Colin Udoh and his SuperSport Crew and watched them record an edition of
popular show element on Naijamade, Who Sabi.
Then
we were off to the stadium to watch the Sudanese train.
Sabotaging
Stephen Keshi
On
our way we discussed an email release by Emmanuel Ado trying the convince the
world that there were people out to sabotage Stephen KEshi

I’m
going to copy out the email below unedited so you can see.
FOOTBALL INSIDERS PLOT KESHI FALL
The Stephen KESHI must go campaign takes a dangerous
dimension for the worst, as the KESHI haters’ devised some desperate measures
to actualize their nefarious plan of humiliating the gaffaout of the national
team.
In their bid to actualize their plan of getting him
out at all cost, the group of highly connected football aficionados and their
paid acolytes have concluded plans to embarrass the coach and the players of
the a Super Eagles during their Wednesday African Nations Cup qualifier against
Sudan in Abuja. To them, the nation can be humiliated provided it provided the
leeway of sacrificing the Coach, who they see as the problem of the nation’s
football.
These group of people led by a member of the board
of the NFF, have consequently decided to rent a crowd of protesters to call for
the immediate sack of Coach Keshi and the appointment of Shaibu Amadou as
interim National coach to handle the remaining matches. “ As far as we are
concern, this is payback time. He betrayed Aminu Maigari and the former board
and thinks he can get away with it. We will teach him a lesion he will never
forget”,he said jokingly.
The placards and T-Shirts for the demonstrations
have been produced and distributed to the rented crowd, who will be deployed on
match day to give the team serious psychological problem that will make them
look as if they are playing away instead of home. The intention is to create an
impression of a man that has lost support.
“Keshi and the players will be pelted with
sachet waters and stones to humiliate them since the match will be transmitted
live. The entire Africa will see that he is finished and there will be nowhere
for him to hide”.
The demonstration is aimed at further demoralizing
the team and ensuring that NIGERIA is defeated, that is the only condition that
will compel the Federal Government to back off from protecting him.
” Our hands are tied on the issue of KESHI.
Hence  the only way Stephen Keshi who has
the backing of government can be sacked is the defeat of NIGERIA by Sudan on
Wednesday and we have resolved to work for the Sudanese to actualize our
plan” said the source close to the president of the federation.
The newly 
elected president who has boasted severally of his determination to do
away with the coach told close associates that “we have Keshi where we
want him. One more match and he will be history”.
The group resorted to these desperate measures
following their failure to get government backing for the sack of award winning
Coach.
According to Sources close to Amaju, a top National
Security Officer, whose office has been allegedly harassing the former
president Aminu Maigari  is the one
protecting KESHI.” this is the reason why we are mobilizing public opinion
of most Nigerians against him. “So barring any breach in the arrangement,
Nigerians will be amazed come tomorrow”.
Facts from sources close to Pinnick
This
email was sent late on Monday and I received a forwarded copy on Tuesday afternoon.
We
basically laughed off this mail but two hours after I arrived at the stadium,
just after the Sudanese finished training and we saw a group of boys, who from
their looks, accent and dressing seemed of northern Nigerian extraction.
They
were carrying placards with hurriedly written words like, “Keshi Must Go, we
are tired” Keshi is too arrogant, Eagles play like pregnant women, Keshi is
confused, who those are sabotaging him.
In
all honesty they were a rag tag group of boys and who ever got the contract to
hire them did a shoddy job, but the question that kept ringing in my head was, “Emmanuel
Ado was not wrong when he said there would be an attempt by a sponsored group
to stage a protest against Stephen Keshi.
But
is this what Keshi meant by sabotage? Is it?
I
also asked around and gathered it would be worse on match day.
  
The Sudanese
Earlier
the Sudanese trained but before they did they ensured stadium security did not
let anyone watch their sessions, well er, except the press who watched from quite
a distance.

When
they were through, their coach, Mohamed Abdallah said the national stadium
pitch was good because we were Nigeria and were expected to have good pitches,
he said Keshi was his friend and they are both under pressure because that was the
lot of coaches and he said he feels he is under more pressure now than before
because after beating Nigeria they stand a chance to qualify.
Will Keshi stay
or go?
Right
there in the media tribune while watching the Sudanese train some journalists
got into arguments on the quality of the Super Eagles team, how good Keshi is,
would we qualify or not and if Keshi was going to be sacked but I couldn’t be
bothered with that because it was a needless argument.
I
spotted the media officer of the girls U17 team, the Flamingoes, Jennifer Okoye
who I hadn’t seen since the AFCON in Ghana in 2008 and we got talking to catch
up on old times.
Below
us, another group of journalists discussed John Mikel Obi’s altercation with a
female journalist the previous day.
Some
said he shoved her away, others said he verbally abused her but I couldn’t get
one person who saw the incident so I decided not to take it as seriously as I should.
How to end your
working day in Abuja?
I
got a call from Nduka (Not Irabor but Orjinmo). He was on his way to my hotel
so we could hang out.
The
rest as they say is now history.
Tomorrow
the Eagles are expected to fly high above Sudan. They really have no choice in
the matter.

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