ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government on Monday released funds to the outstanding allowances and winning bonuses to Bayelsa United Football Club ahead of their crucial tie against Warri Wolves billed for this Saturday.
The team also received in advance their match winning bonuses for the decisive game against the Warri side.
The government said a win for Bayelsa United would guarantee their promotion to the elite division of the Nigerian Premier League.
Addressing the chairman, coaches and players of the home side at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Onopa, the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, charged them to go all out against their opponents Warri Wolves in the make or break encounter.
Ewhrudjakpo, who encouraged the team to put behind their shock defeat in the Aiteo Cup, said they should go for the kill in the home game, noting that grabbing three points from their two remaining games this season is all they need to gain promotion to Division One of the Nigerian League.
He congratulated the team for maintaining their lead in the second division of the League so far and announced the immediate release of some of their outstanding allowances and bonuses.
Ewhrudjakpo said: “First of all, I want to thank you for defending your title up to the quarterfinals in the Aiteo Cup. It is always very rare to win the championship league back to back.
“I want to congratulate you for the feat you have achieved this season in both premiership and in the Aiteo Cup. But don’t bother about your loss in the Aiteo Cup; I urge you to put that behind you.
“Again, I want to congratulate you because for now we are topping the League. We need to maintain the lead.
“I can assure you that as far as I am concerned, we have only one match to play, and that is the Saturday match with Warri Wolves. That is why I have come out today to meet with you people.
“The Governor told me to see you and encourage you. Don’t be afraid. We are confident that we will win because in God we trust.
“On our part, we will continue to do everything within our reach to encourage you. Those match bonuses we are owing you will be paid tomorrow or latest Wednesday this week.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Bayelsa State Civil Service Commission, Dr. Peter Singabele, noted that the kind of support being given to the state’s football teams by the Douye Diri administration was unparalleled in the sports history of the state.
He expressed confidence that with the support and motivation from the state government, the team would emerge victorious in their match with Warri Wolves.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Bayelsa United, Mr. Ebiki Timitimi, said the officials and players were grateful to the state government for the support and encouragement being given to them.
Timitimi pointed out that the only way to reciprocate the good gesture of the Prosperity Administration was victory, assuring that they would not disappoint Bayelsans at this crucial decisive stage of the league season.
Also speaking, the Team Captain, Mr. Ebitimi Agogu, who expressed gratitude to government for all it had done for Bayelsa United, promised to make the state proud.