BY GODWIN AIKIGBE—
Former Nigeria international, Etim John Esin says he cannot understand why he is being treated like an orphan by successive Akwa Ibom State governments despite putting the state on the world football map.
Speaking exclusively to sportsrollcall.com, Etim also revealed how the immediate past Godswill Akpabio-led government frustrated his plans to set up a Paris Saint Germain academy in the state.
He said: “I am shocked that Akwa Ibom government is treating me like an orphan despite putting the state on the world map as a footballer. I was the first professional player in the state upon its creation in 1987, the same year I joined Lokeren of Belgium.
“But I am surprised that the Godswill Akpabio-led government did not only fail to engage my services, even as Team Manager of Akwa United, but also frustrated by plans to set up a PSG academy in the state with the help of Austin Jay-Jay Okocha. The proposal had been approved and Akwa Ibom government only needed to have provided land for that purpose, which it never did.
“When I complained to some people close to the seat of power, I was told that the project had been rejected just like all other efforts to contribute my quota to football development in the state because I am from Oron”.
The former Lierse of Belgium player is now appealing to the current state government headed by Udom Gabriel Emmanuel to engage him in whatever capacity like other states of the federation are doing for their retired sports men and women.
“I am once again using your medium to appeal to the reasoning of the current State government led Udom Gabriel Emmanuel to give me a job. I can perform in any capacity in football administration because it is my specialty. I excelled in the game both locally and internationally and can easily bring my experiences to bear. They should not wait till am dead before giving me a state burial”, pleaded Etim.