Coach Invites Boko Haram Into Nigerian League

Kano Pillars coach threatens to use the sect to blow up Dolphins in a league reverse fixture.
Recent events in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) show that the nation may be thrown into mourning if quick action is not taken, as a coach has invited members of the notorious Boko Haram Sect into the country’s round leather game.‬
‪Kabiru Baleria, Kano Pillars’ coach, after seeing his side’s effort to at least get a point from their league encounter with Dolphins FC in Port Harcourt dashed in the 98th minute, rushed to his opponent’s bench in apparent frustration and asked them to choose between pulling out of the reverse fixture or getting blown up by the sect.‬
‪He was quoted in media reports as saying: “Walahi, if you (Dolphin) come to Kano, we will use Boko Haram to blow you up. Don’t even bother coming. We will use them to kill you.”‬
‪Everyday, the nation wakes up to reports of alleged Boko Haram attacks in Kano, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Plateau states.
‪Boko Haram is an Islamist terrorist group responsible for series of attacks and thousands of deaths in the northern states of Nigeria. The most devastating of their attacks was the multiple bombing carried out in Kano in January 2012, which left about 286 persons dead. The Madalla Christmas bombing also remains fresh in the minds and memories of Nigerians.‬
Baleria is a coach based in Kano, and it stands to reason that he must have witnessed the carnage the sect can wrought when it wants to. With his threat, the former top flight football player, has unwittingly invited fear and violence into the game Nigerians cherished.
And yes, football is one of the uniting factors Nigeria–with the present avalanche of security challenges–is holding firmly unto.‬
‪Following this threat, we should expect teams playing away at Pillars to have one eye on the ball and the other on any suspicious-looking persons.‬
‪Dolphins are not treating the threats with kids gloves and have rightly dragged Pillars before the Nigeria Premier League (NPL). They have also invited security agencies to look into the threats made by the Pillars coach.‬
‪Though China Acheru, Dolphins’ spokesperson, agreed that the threats might have been made out of anger and frustration, he pointed out that it would be foolhardy to take the threats lightly.‬
‪“I believe that such a statement was said out of frustration, especially as  they felt aggrieved conceding a goal at the last minute of the game. But then, people should watch what they say,” he said.
“In the last two years, we have had people killed, churches blown up and more threats made by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. If a person like Baleria who played top flight football could  make such statement, he should be invited by the security agencies for questioning because he must have a link with them.”‬
‪It remains to be seen if the NPL will ban Pillars from playing at home for the remainder of the season and suspend Baleria, who has brought shame into the league with his threats.



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