Criticisms have continued to trail the donation of $5,000 to each Super Eagles player by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for their Round of 16 3-2 victory over the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
The governor made the donation, which amounts to $115,000 (N41.4m) for 23 players in the team, excluding the technical crew and support staff, during the half time pep talk with the players.
The cash gift to the national team players irked Lagos residents, who took to social media to vent their anger on the governor.
Opposition Peoples Democratic Party and the ruling All Progressives Congress chapters in Lagos State expressed different opinions on the donation.
While the PDP described the donation as inappropriate and insensitive, the APC said it was a “philanthropic act.”
Apart from Sanwo-Olu, the Nigeria Football Federation in a press statement confirmed that Captain Hosa Wells-Okunbor, also gifted the Eagles $20,000 each.
The spokesperson of the Lagos PDP, Mr Gani Taofeek, wondered why the governor made such donation when residents of the state were “in pains, suffering and dyeing.”
He said, “The donation is prodigal, inappropriate, misappropriated, lousy, extravagant and sycophantic. We call on the Lagos State House of Assembly to summon him and also query him on how he came about going to spend $5,000 on each Eagles player.
“This is a misplacement of priority. It is indeed mischievous. The mischief is that the tax payers are currently sobering and in pain, suffering and dying. Every day, there is sobering in the state and some of these projects need this kind of donation as palliatives.
“People are dying, there’s flooding, building collapse, pipeline explosion and our governor is there (Egypt) watching football. The governor shouldn’t have left the state for leisure or even donate at a challenging period like this.”
On his part, the Lagos APC spokesperson, Mr Joe Igbokwe, said Sanwo-Olu donated the money from his personal purse.
He said, “PDP is thinking that the man is a poor man. Sanwo-Olu is not a poor man. He made that donation from his own pocket and not from the government purse. He is a very successful man before he became the Lagos State Governor.
“The donation is a way of saying thank you and it is a philanthropic act. It is not too much for him to donate such from his pocket. The most important thing is that it is not government money and he is rich enough to donate such an amount. Sanwo-Olu is philanthropy per excellence. He did that to boost the image of Nigeria.”