The Rivers United drama troupe continue to perform

Down and out? Sunday Rotimi urges Emeka Ogbuh to get up
The drama as regards who controls the stakes at Port Harcourt based Rivers United is playing out in full voice especially in the absence of a substantive sports commissioner in the state.

The visible infighting within the ranks may finally swallow the team as developments in the last two days suggest

It has been a comedy of errors at the club ever since the season began with different camps calling shots or at least believing they call the shots at the club as each tried to undo the other.

As this infighting continued, the performance of the team depreciated on the pitch and results stopped coming in the way fans and sponsors wanted it.

Ultimatum according to Kpalikwu

On Friday, two days after their home loss to Sunshine Stars, General Manager of the club, Okey Kpalikwu  announced that a three match ultimatum had been issued to the coaches of the side to perform or face sanctions but neither the media officer of the club, Sammy Wejinya nor the head coach, Stanley Eguma acknowledged such a scenario occurred.

According to Kpalikwu on Friday, “The team is not doing well but we cannot get a new coach at this time in season because it will be counterproductive with just a few matches to go,” Kpalikwu said.

“So there is an ultimatum to perform in the nest three matches. He has to win the three matches or face sanctions and that was one of the decisions taken by the sports ministry who are the supervisors of the club.”

“In football you consider that when you win you do not win all the time but when you look at the amount of resources put in the team, there is a need to make the fans happy. You cannot lose all the time. There is no improvement in terms of results and there are calls to remove the coach but we cannot do that now.”

No ultimatum, according to Eguma

Eguma denies knowledge of an ultimatum
However, with no official statement coming from the club’s media office, head coach of the side, Stanley Eguma went on record to deny that there was ever a three match ultimatum issued to him or his coaching crew.

“No comments. I don’t have any comment on that because I have not heard anything about that (the 3-match ultimatum),” Eguma told

But Permanent Secretary drops the hammer

Ever since the dissolution of the Rivers State Executive Committee by the governor, Nyesom Wike, the Permanent Secretaries were charged to act as commissioners at their respective ministries.

The acting commissioner for sports is Michael Nnodi , who is the Permanent Secretary and he told Carl Orakwue on Friday that the team had more issues than just poor performances on the pitch.

He cited infighting and favoritism as some of the reasons why the club was not doing well this season.
“We have noticed that the performance of the team has been dwindling. We started
with the Champions League and lost out to the Confederation Cup, lost out and are not playing in the Premier League and the performance is still low.

“We met with the management, technical crew and supporters club on Thursday and with the players today (Friday) and everybody spoke while we took some decisions.

“We have resolved that every player should move to the camp; those who are in hotels and in their homes should move to the camp where everybody will stay together, focus and ensure that victory comes our way.

“We have also resolved that the technical crew must select players based on performance and not favouritism because many players expressed that opinion that they have not been allowed to play because of favouritism.

“We have instructed the technical crew to sit up. We have given them an ultimatum to sit up and win their next three matches or face serious sanctions from us,” Permanent Secretary of the Rivers State sports ministry told Carl Orakwue on Saturday.

“We have also charged them to stop the infighting because that was another issue raised by the players that there was infighting amongst the management members of the team,” Nnodi said.

The three match ultimatum starts with the home game on Sunday against Wikki Tourist and then another home game on Wednesday against Akwa United.

But the question is- Does the Permanent Secretary or General Manager have the cojones to sack Stanley Eguma if he eventually does not win the next three games?

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