One of the coaches of Cross River State owned Calabar Rovers Football Club, Vincent Ugoaja, alias Coach Babajama has called for the removal of House of Representatives member, Hon. Essien Ayi, who has been Chairman of the club for over 30 years.
The coach said Hon. Ayi’s long tenure has brought to the club retrogression, ill-luck and steady relegation.
According to him, Calabar Rovers which was once a household name, producing famous footballers and a breeding ground for the national teams, is now playing in the lowest division of the Nigerian league.
In an interview, Ugoaja, himself an ex-Rovers player, said “The current chairman of Cross River Football Association and Chairman of Rovers FC, Hon. Essien Ayi has served for over 30 years. He is my boss. I have worked with him even as a player in Rovers FC.
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“The team has consistently been relegated to the lowest division compared with when it was leading the national League in the heydays of Nigerian football.
“I have told him openly that there was a need for him to step down. He would not yield.
“I don’t know why he does not want to step down even as he knows too well that he does not have the time again for the team, or any new ideas. I don’t know why the authorities are afraid to replace him.”
Ugoaja maintained that Ayi is the oldest FA chairman in the country and has completely run out of ideas.
He advised that owners of the team should look for ex-Rovers players who would come up with innovative ideas to revive the club, and who would always be available for the team.
Reacting, one of the Chairman’s Personal Assistants, Effiom Ededem, said his principal has spent substantial sums of money to sponsor the team over the years.
He assured that Hon. Ayi will soon speak on the matter.
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