By Iormase Teryima
I have read several articles on the fansa group of Lobi Stars Football Club, a platform wholly controlled by Dominic Iorfa with high handedness and intolerance to opposing views, blaming the government of Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia for the woeful performance of the club in the ongoing NPFL 2022/2023 play offs at Onikan Lagos.
I needed no soothsayer to conclude that, the media stories are sponsored by the Vice Chairman/CEO of Lobi Stars Dominic Iorfa, who ordinarily wouldn’t permit an article blaming the Governor for whatever reason, if he is not behind it.
Probably, Iorfa has decided to dare the Governor, after coming to a self conclusion that, he has no future with the present Governor and also cover up for the club’s abysmal performance, which was obvious and predicted by soccer pundits as at the time of going in to the tournament.
Dominic Iorfa has penchant for not paying wages which is common knowledge, the plausible denial from him or his defence urchins was that he was not paying but getting results, as such critics can not be justified and shouldn’t cry more than the bereaved. The pertinent question is, at what point did he lost the magic wand of not paying but getting results?
On the ratings of the 6 clubs in the Play off, given available data, Lobi Stars was the 5th strongest or 2nd weakest, which ever form of semantic you may chose to describe, and I said that publicly with substantial proof but was insulted by his media staff, whom I concluded by asking them to go and work hard and prove me wrong, rather than insulting me on the cyber space.
The monthly allocation of Lobi Stars under former Gov Ortom came steadily till April 2023, but even the staff salaries of April were not paid among many other allegations of financial mismanagement. No responsible Governor in the class of Fr Hyacinth Alia will blindingly in the middle of all these allegations be funding a loot without verification to keep feeding fat on monies meant for the welfare of the playing and non playing staff of the club.
Iorfa has been steadily borrowing to fund urgent needs of the club and pay when the Government release money meant for that purpose. If he was not out to malign the person of Gov Alia, he would have gotten a facility to prosecute the playoff successfully. What ever he is saying now amounts to defending an obvious and expected end poor performance which was foreseen.
As I write this story, I still believe strongly that Lobi will end up last on the table as Iorfa has shifted attention from his duty post to blaming Gov Alia who is barely 12 days in office today. Besides Remo Stars, all the 5 other clubs are owned by state Governments and all are involved in change of government except Insurance, so change of government should not be an excuse.
For the past over one year, Iorfa has been enjoying an enhanced funding from the state government, rather than spending judiciously, he got himself involved in match buying in the abridged league, bribing government officials close to the former Governor which he extended it to the present Governor but met a brick wall, he populated his payroll with with his in-laws, children and cronies of officials of the former government, including the failed PDP gubernatorial candidate whose two sons are still there on the payroll
As if that was not enough, Iorfa sold two club buses (32 and 18 seater) without approval of the board, Lobi Stars were also given appearance fee for the playoff that would have substantially supported them, he cumulatively borrowed over 20 million within the period of the playoff, how much did Lobi Stars need to play in the tournament if not because he is diverting the monies to fund his unholy vices.
Governor Alia should not be perturbed by Iorfa’s blackmail, the people of Benue State have so much confidence in him to take a tested and morally bankrupt character like Iorfa as threat to cause rift between him and the people of Benue State.
Photo Credit: Gift Anderson