President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shocked over unpaid allowances of the Super Eagles players taking part in the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
The Nigerian Football Federation, (NFF), had last week in a statement said President Buhari had approved the release of funds for the payment of players match allowances and bonuses.
The fund was released after Super Eagles players protested over unpaid allowances and match bonuses at their Helnan Palestine Hotel in Egypt.
Plateau Governor Simon Lalong who visited the president to brief him on the team’s predicament at the ongoing AFCON in Egypt, said President Buhari was shocked to hear that the Eagles were been owed after the approval for the payment of their allowances.
“I came to see the President on behalf my state and on behalf of the 19 northern states as chairman of Northern governors’ forum.
“I came in to have a discussion with Mr president, of course many of you know that I just came back from Egypt where we went to cheer our Super Eagles and I also brought him the concerns of our players over there and he promised to handle the matter immediately.
“Football is a unifying factor in Nigeria and we shouldn’t joke with it, if they bring back the cup it will cement our relationship and that is one of it,” Lalong said.
On some of the concerns of the Super Eagles, the governor said: “Well, many of the concerns raised were that their allowances were not paid and Mr President expressed surprise that he signed these allowance and wondered why they were not paid to them.
“I was a footballer, it’s not like before when you play football out of patriotism, now it’s combined with the economic aspect. When you bring people, definitely from the ministry, you must ensure that their allowances are paid.
“We went there for the joy of it and the day we were there they won their match but when we left yesterday, I understand they lost to Madagascar.
“Defeating Guinea and allowing Madagascar to defeat us is a surprise, but I think with good motivation, these boys would bring back the cup.”