The former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West recounts how he had always made himself available for Rivers State for so many years ago.
In a recent interview with Punch, he spoke about the plight of Nigeria’s ex-footballers and the struggle they face in our society.
See details from the interview below:
There’s a general belief that sportsmen and women lack educational qualifications, thus they are excluded from sports administration. Do you agree?
"That’s total rubbish, a total nonsense. How educated are those people in FIFA? In Nigeria, is it every politician that went to school? Some can’t even write their names. But it’s only in my country Nigeria that those in positions use demonic criteria to keep people away. In other countries, if you are competent for the job, they will give it to you. We’ve got lots of ex-footballers who are graduates, and Some are doing very well in their various fields. I've been involved in the political system and things like this discouraged me from it. If it means I have to be a cultist to get a position, I’m not ready for that. I’ll prefer to drink my garri at home and be free with God".
He Continued, Saying:
"At the time I was in politics, a running mate to a governorship aspirant in my state (Rivers), brought me money and told me to join their cult. He told me if I wanted power, they would give me position, and that if I wanted money, I would be given. But he insisted that I must be involved in their cultism activities. So, I disassociated myself from them. From that day, I made up my mind that I will drink my gari with water, rather than become a cultist. Like I said earlier, I’ve met politicians who could'nt speak good English but because they have godfathers and belong to various cults, they’ve been empowered. I’m not afraid to say what needs to be said, It is a total rubbish".
When asked, if this is the reason why he is not in Rivers to help discover and groom young footballers for the state. He said,
“I’ve made myself available for Rivers State for so many years. But if you are not their member, they won’t give you anything to do; they would not carry you along nor involve you. You have to belong to a caucus, it’s at all levels. Nobody will look at you if you are not involved. They know that someone like me will disturb their activities, so they won’t get me involved. I’m the only big name in sports in my state that they don’t call for anything. Tho, it is painful, but i believed someday, this will end.