A member of the Atlanta ’96 Olympics Nigerian Golden Dream Team, Kingsley Obiekwu, has said that some state governments have failed to fulfil the promises they made to the team after their record-breaking win 26 years ago.
The veteran footballer stated that the rewards included the plots of land promised by the Delta and Niger governments.
Obiekwu, a Member of the Order of Nigeria, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Awka.
He added that he now used his only car for commercial transport to sustain his family.
The veteran, who played for Rangers International FC, Enugu and Udoji United in his days, said he went into the transport business to sustain his family.
The former defender noted that things had not been rosy since he returned to Nigeria in 2008, in spite of his contributions to the development of Nigeria’s football.
According to Obiekwu, who now coaches INGAS FC, Enugu, he has to combine the coaching job with the commercial transport business to make ends meet.
He stated that his former employers were owing him over N6 million cumulatively.
“Yes, I am a commercial transporter; there is nothing to hide about it. Man has to do what is legal to pay his family bills.
I have four children at the Enugu State University of Technology and my last child is in primary five.
“I have coached Rangers International FC, Ifeanyi Ubah FC, Delta Force FC, Asaba, Giant Brila and also Union Sportif, Krake, Republic of Benin. All of them are owing me,” Obiekwu said.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which some employers were owing their workers a backlog of salaries in the country.
Obiekwu said, “I am disappointed with the setup in Nigeria. How can employers be owing you and nobody is saying or doing anything about it? It’s frustrating. Even my home state, Delta, has refused to pay me.
“I can’t steal; I can’t do fraud; I can’t do money rituals. So, I have to do what is legal and possible, for me to take care of my family.
“If I can get this N6 million, I won’t be in this mess. I also go to Lagos to bring in new cars for people and they pay me. You know in Nigeria, when you retire, there’s no pension, no gratuity.”
Obiekwu said that he was unable to secure an NPFL coaching job with the pro- licence certificate he obtained in the United Kingdom “because they demanded CAF Grade A or Grade B certificate.”