July, 30 2023.
After being asked to go on a short break following the Naija Super 8 in Lagos where the team reached the semifinals of the pre-season tournament, many players of Lobi Stars Football Club of Makurdi have refused to regroup ahead of the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) season.
For over a week now, the players have been expected to return to Makurdi, but many of them have sent words to the team threatening that they would only report for pre-season, with their new handler Abubakar Bala if their outstanding three months salaries and other allowances are cleared.
Aside players of Benue State origin, or those residing in Makurdi, majority of the aggrieved players are actually not residing in Benue State capital, and they include the likes of Kalu Orji, Sunday Chinedu, Emmanuel Daniel, Christian Madu, Joseph Atule, John Lazarus , Wasiu Alalade and they are all yet to resume for next season.
www.ckdmedia.ng also confirmed that the few players already in Makurdi, the likes of Moses Tsesun, Solomon Kwambe, Anthony Agbaji are yet to resume routine training at the club's practice pitch.
The players appeared to have conspired or contrived not to resume training, until their demands are met by the management of the club, headed by former international, Dominic Iorfa.
Just yesterday, www.ckdmedia.ng broke the story of the 3 months indebtedness owed players of Lobi Stars, and the report apparently compelled the state government to issue a statement, saying; "the players will be paid this week".
But some of the players who spoke with us on condition of unanimity, said there was no way they can resume if they don't receive the appropriate credit alerts.
"How do the club expect me or any other player to leave our houses, and families without a Kobo in this critical period we are, in Nigeria. Even if I do, how do I feed and cater for my other personal needs as a professional footballer", one of the protesting players reasoned.
With many projecting that the league would kick-off in late August, it is left to be seen if the Management of Lobi Stars and government of Benue State moves quickly to meet the demands made by the players.