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Galaxy of stars at launch of iBet sports betting

*Why we vetoed Buhari on Lottery Law – Melaye

*CAF cheated Enyimba when I was Gov – Orji Uzor Kalu

By Olajide Fashikun

Nigeria’s newest sports betting company, iBet, did a big entry to the industry in Abuja with a galaxy of sports and political stars launching it to the public. The games of the company starts by this weekend.

Otunba Gbenga Elegbeleye addressing the media
Otunba Gbenga Elegbeleye addressing the media

The public launch which took place at the Boat club. Former Abia state governor, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu was chairman.

Speaking at the event, the chairman of the company, Otunba Gbenga Elegbeleye said, “the firm is a world reknown brand from United Kingdom. We are not doing what others are doing. We are unique, our games are unique and outstanding. We are different. We want to add value to the lives of our patrons while we make money with which we still bring up a new generation of sports stars.”

In his remarks, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu said, “this is a company wishing to help soccer development.

“Confederation of African Football (CAF) stopped us (Enyimba FC of Aba) from winning the African Champions League cup on the third time. CAF was financially prostrate then. They had no money to buy a new cup.”

Hon Ibrahim Gusau, Chief Mary Onyali and Alhaja Ayo Omidiran at the event
Hon Ibrahim Gusau, Chief Mary Onyali and Alhaja Ayo Omidiran at the event

He told his audience that Enyimba FC is a reflection of the quality of his mind. Passion, nationalism devoid of ethnic sentiments. The team reflects what goes on in my mind. We want 11 players on board as the best from Nigeria. If we work with the Nigerian nation and the Nigerianness in us, we will win the World Cup. I used to train, eat, play with them. I gave the team the sense of belonging.

“We built a new stadium in Umuahia and Aba. We never used government money to run the club. We live on our merchandise and we’re making over N500million annually. We used the funds we raised to make the team so big. We bought Ayaya from Rangers for over N5million.

It is good to support our own. Nigerians should support this company.

“For me, I know that iBet can help Nigerian teams to become great again.

The galaxy of stars present: Ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC)’s Engineer Segun Oni, Hon Samson

Simon Watson, the CEO of iBet speaking to journalists at the launch
Simon Watson, the CEO of iBet speaking to journalists at the launch

Osage, Alhaja Ayo Omidiran, Senator Dino Melaye, Hon Tunde Akogun, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila, Moses Siasia, Samson Siasia, Chief Mary Onyali were there.

Present also is the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Dr Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau, Hon Aliyu Magaji, Uche Obiafoma, Senator Nkechi Nwogu, Chief Emeka Wogu, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe.

Melaye: Speaking, Senator Dino Melaye said, “lottery is certainly bigger than oil. We have a Director General who is tested, who knows the terrain very well and who will make the industry to thrive. Lottery will become the highest income earner in the nation with the rate we are going.” He presided over the toast to the new initiative.

Senator Melaye added, “we have reviewed the law governing lottery in the country, both chambers of the National Assembly had passed it. It was sent to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, for accent. He refused. We have vetoed it and it is now law.

Gbajabiamila: In his comment, Mr Lanre Gbajamiala, the Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission said, “this is my first launch since my appointment. I take pride to be the one to license this company. What I saw in the process and proposal is unique and different. iBet met the conditions. Every Nigerian should be part of this firm. When you play lottery, you indirectly support good causes like sports, education, infrastructure etc

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