The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has celebrated Bendel Insurance Football Club for qualifying to the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), charging the team to give account of themselves in the topflight division.
Bendel Insurance qualified to the NPFL after picking maximum 9 points at the Nigeria National League (NNL) Super 8 Playoffs, ending 11 years relegation.
The governor who hosted the victorious team at Government House, said the team has lived up to the challenge thrown at them at the unveiling of the re-branded club in 2018.
He charged the team to ensure that they put in their best to win the Premier League.
“I am happy for this new year’s present you have given me and the state. Nothing can be better than this. I asked you to do your best and be promoted to NPFL, that you have achieved. For this feat and victory, I will give you N25 million.”
“The supporters’ club will get N5 million for doing a great job supporting the club all the way to victory,” Obaseki said.
The governor promised that in addition to the cash gifts, the team will get a new bus, while the supporters’ club will get one as well, noting, “These buses will provide comfort to the club and the supporters whenever they are traveling for matches.”
Obaseki, who rejected award giving to him by the Edo State Football Federation, said, as governor, he doesn’t receive awards.
“I don’t receive reward for now, your award can’t be an exception. I will not receive it but will only receive it from you when you win the Nigeria Premier League this season.”
Earlier, the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, who presented the players of the team to the governor, said that they were in Government House to inform the governor that they have fulfilled the mandate he gave them.
“You asked us to go to Aba to conquer and we went there and have achieved that feat by winning our three matches. We have gone around Benin City with the victorious boys and they have been appreciated by the people of the state,” Shaibu said.
He urged for support for the team to spur them to win the NPFL, which is the new target given to them by the governor.
The team’s coach, Monday Odigie, thanked the governor and his deputy for the great support and encouragement, adding, “We thank Edo State Government, the players, fans and the media for this great feat. We will do our best to win the NPFL.”