Ebi Egbe aka Moni Love
Mr. Ebi Egbe, is a FIFA match agent and a business man whose 30 years experience in the football industry has been so impactful in both the local and international scene. In this exclusive interview with Creeknews weekly, he vowed to fight and expose the cabal hindering the progress of local football in the state, among other positive projection in the football sub- sector. Excerpts.
May we know you?
My name is Ebi Ezekiel Egbe, the C.E.O Monimichelle Sport facility construction limiBayelsa Football crisis: Egbe urge NFF to reject result, accuses Singabelle of election fraud
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Monimichelle sport facility construction ltd, and a top contender in the Bayelsa State FA chairmanship position, Mr. Ebi Ezekiel Egbe, has urged the leadership of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), to reject the outcome of the June 10, Bayelsa state football Association results, noting that the election was marred with irregularities.
Mr. Egbe, made the call through a four page protest letter to the President of the football federation on Thursday, in Yenagoa, adding that the election was manipulated, even as fake delegates were allowed to vote.
He also faulted the alleged partisan and fraudulent collaboration by the CAF official in the state, Dr. Peter Fabuku Singabele with other F.A officials to hold on to power at all cost, adding that if he was beaten at a free and fair contest with no form of manipulation he won’t have had problems with the process.
“I expected Singabele as an elder statesman to play a fatherly role and stand neutral in all of these, but he ended up ganging up with the FA officials to manipulate the electoral process. He (Singabele) was the architect of what happened today and he did what he did because he is scared that my emergence as FA chairman would diminish his influence in Bayelsa football,”
He further stated that the alleged Kangaroo arrangement election was hurriedly done in a shameless manner where delegates who ought to have voted were barred and journalist prevented from covering the process, adding that he is in the race to ensure Bayelsans benefit maximally as other states benefit from their F.As.
He further stressed that even when the delegates list was never made public before or at the election venue; different names were changed at will by the eleco, noting that the entire electoral proceeding was designed manipulatively to favour Barr. Ogun (the incumbent Chairman of BYSFA) and the candidates he supports.
“The entire process was like a daylight robbery, who can you conduct a delegate election without making the lists of eligible voters available, then names were change at will by the eleco. I therefore call for the total cancellation of the whole process and your intervention is urgently needed to forestall the enthronement of anti-democratic tactics in football governance in the Bayelsa state football Association”
They don"t know anything about football, i have what it take to reform our football industry in the state, i have been in this industry for over thirty years and have made my mark. am not desperate about the position but my aim is to use the platform to market project Bayelsa to the world, i have been doing this for years now without the F.A. We haven't achieved more because the right people are not in place and it becomes a problem, you must bring the right people who have the capacity and can always go out to negotiate on behalf of the state in terms of development.
ted. I am contesting the FA chairmanship election in Bayelsa state.
Did you say contesting, for an election that was conducted already?
The election is not over yet because what we witnessed at the Laktic Hotels wasn't an election. We are in the 21st century and times are changing, if the association has election guidelines then it has to followed properly, the election we had was done without following guidelines that is why am asking for the cancellation of that election , so we can conduct a new election.
Can you be specific on the improper areas where the guidelines were not followed?
Okay, barely three months back, I got interested in running for the position of the FA chairman in the state because I realised we have a stagnant football association in the state, I know and understand the power of state FAs during my stay in England where FAs are very strong and what they attract to state. I have been here in the state for the past ten years now and nothing different has happened to our football locally. If not for what am doing for football in the state they won't have been any impact in our football, so I thought of contesting to see if I can use the platform to market project Bayelsa to the world. In actualizing my vision I consulted Dr. Singabelle, told him of my interest to contest the chairmanship position and he(Singabelle) promised to get back to me but never did, and I even made further moves to get to him but be never responded, only for me find out that he connived with some persons to deprive me my right to participate in the election. They floored the process after they lied that I can only appeal on the day of the election which is actually in the guidelines, when I saw their fraudulent moves to scheme me out. I wrote a petition some months ago but they told me they can't accept it until the day of the election, but on the day of the election at the venue they refused collecting the petition and even they collected it they failed to attend and give hearing to it but they hurriedly under 15 minutes did a kangaroo election and announced Barr. Pobeni as the winner. If we want to get things right in the state we need to throw away sentiment, the FA is been controlled by All Star International, characters that never played football. We had about thirteen of them out of the seventeen delegates that voted. That was unfair, and that area the reasons am contesting the result.
You already petition NFF?
Sure and am waiting for the outcome, the frauds were too obvious, secondly, the Ex-players association's Chairman, Ebitimi Amgbare was not granted access to vote instead his deputy was allowed, can you imagine that? This is Bayelsa and such controversy shouldn't happen here. They know that am not a push over, this is my 30th year in the football industry, am not the kind of guy they can cheat easily. I am patiently waiting for the outcome, am not a violent person because I believe in playing by the rules, I want fair play. To me, am not desperate to be the FA chairman in the state but because of what we deserve to benefit and we are not getting form the country in general, if I can operate outside the federation for 30 years and I have become so popular and impactful then that should tell you something if I become chairman. To me, coming on board is for me to use the platform to help my state, so we boost football tourism in the state. We have the most beautiful compact stadium today in the country and we have an FA that can't make a case for local games to be played in the state. With me, I can market that stadium to the NFF, and our state will be showcased around the world, let us just see how the election petition goes.
If the NFF looks into the matter and the outcome remains the same, what will you do?
Its impossible, I know the kind of NFF we have, they'll intervene and give me fair hearing, but if it goes the other way and they say Monimichelle you lost the election and you don't have a case, I will just walk away?
If it turns that way, will you support the leadership?
Why not, I have always supported the FA and a lot of football programmes in the state. Am a FIFA match agent and not just coming to struggle for position. Am the only FIFA licensed match agent in Nigeria, and just because I came to establish my office in Bayelsa state that's why they look down on me, I can decide to move my office to Abuja or Lagos. We are talking about establishing where we are from that's why am here. I don't have to be here, and this guys can't frustrate me to go back to Lagos, Abuja or London, I will stay here and fight that cabal and break their wings, so that guys like me who are in the diaspora can come give what they can offer to the state.
Can crisis like this be detrimental to the progress and development of local football in the state?
Definitely it is, if you don't bring the right people in places of leadership it becomes a problem. You must bring guys who have the capacity to go out and negotiate what the state can benefit from, and in the national they have a lot of respect for me and if I become the chairman the people know I will always go out and lobby for things that will boost tourism in the state and also help in developing grassroot football. We don't want a dormant FA, and as a Bayelsan I feel ashamed when I go out and nothing is said about my state FA. I want my FA to be the beat in the country, because today we have the best pitch, track and flood light in the country. I want to do same with the FA, take football to the grassroot, boost education and build the capacity of the youths, and I can't sit and watch this local guys behave like they own the football.
How have you help in developing young Bayelsans?
I don't think there's anybody that has helped in developing Bayelsans than myself, I have taken a lot of youths to different football academy outside the shores of this country, but we have a challenge that when they go they don't stay but want to come back in a hurry.
Also in para- soccer, the channels kid soccer tournament that just finished I sponsored the team that went from our state. I do a lot not just for the state but the country as a whole.
Our National teams both female perform poorly when they go out, what do you think its responsible?
The playing surface is our biggest problem, we have poor facilities. We don't have good pitches in the country and also no female academy in the country. We're doing our best and also encouraging government to more interns of facilities. The football sector is so powerful, every corner in our neighborhood you' ll see kids playing football in the state. We have a good pitch and that is why we are ousting so many football games in the state, we don't want to throw away opportunities to sell the state, I understand the business and in order to improve out tourism base through football.
Your kind advise to the youths?
The youths of the state needs to keep their nose clean, if you want to play soccer we' ll give you the opportunity and also Marty it with education. They need to stay away from cult activities, don't think you want to grow up to become a politician but someone successful outside politics, because when you see someone that survives well and not a politician becomes a problem to politicians and that is what I am suffering today. The local guys are doing everything to chase me out, but am not going anywhere, am here to stay. We own the state and we'll build it together.