Sports lover and administrator in Plateau State, Saleh Mandung Zazzaga, has questioned the rationale for the high level of salary being paid to players, coaches, and other technical crew of Plateau United football club of Jos.
Zazzaga is also a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), as well as the Plateau State Chairman of the APC Bigwigs.
Speaking with newsmen in Jos the Plateau State capital on his plan to organize sporting activities geared towards promoting peaceful elections in the state come 2023, Zazzaga said grassroots football and other sports in the state are not being given the kind of attention Plateau United is getting.
He noted in Plateau United some players take up to N700,000 (seven hundred thousand Naira) and above monthly, while the coaches take up to N1 million (one million Naira and above), while other sports/teams in the state are not getting commensurate renumeration.
Zazzaga explained that he is a sports lover and he has nothing against paying players or coaches very well, but that owing to the current economic challenges in the state and the nation at large, it is important for things to be modified, especially so that it can accommodate many other sports outfits and football teams as possible.
According to him, sports is a unifying factor no doubt, but Plateau United alone cannot solve the state’s peculiar case as their games are more professional without much local impact.
Moreover, he said he doubt much if the funds being spent on the team has yielded much returns, or advance the much needed peace or advancement of the state in any way.
“Besides, there are other sectors in the state that are having challenges like the education, health, agriculture, among the others. So, rather than concentrate so huge amount of money to finance Plateau United, there is need for an adjustment so that other football teams, even at the grassroots, can be taken into consideration and boosted accordingly.
“Again, apart from football, there are other sports needing financial attention, and with even a little mobilization, the outcome would be fantastic. By and large, there are other sectors of the economy that equally should be considered, like the health, education, agricultural, mining, among other sectors.
“If these sectors are funded as Plateau United is being funded, I bet you that the unemployment rate in state, youth restiveness, violence, cultism, robbery, drug abuse, among other crime and antisocial behaviours will further drastically reduce,” he said.
He said he will bring out his sports/football competitions plan to promote violence-free elections shortly, noting he is still working on the constitution of the organizing committee.
Zazzaga urged the youths to do all the should to ensure that the elections is free of violence, thuggery, ballot box snatching, thuggery, among others, stressing that the politicians who would use them to cause any kind of mayhem would never use their own children.