|Gbenga Ogunbote, Sunshine Stars coach|
...Nigerian Army jet may rescue team
The unrest situation in Bamako, Malian capital, took another dimension in the early hours of yesterday as the Malian Government soldiers stormed and searched Hotel Columbus where the players and officials of Sunshine Stars are lodged.
The Mali's military junta that stormed the hotel about 2a.m (3a.m Nigerian time) knocked at the door of goalkeeper, Segun Oluwaniyi (Room 218), and thoroughly searched the room and asked for his identity. Other players whose doors were knocked did not open as they were jittery of the soldiers who were fully armed.
Speaking exclusively from Bamako, after the incident, the Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan former goalkeeper, said he nearly pee when he saw the junta at his door at that odd hour.
“I have never experienced such in my lifetime. They (military junta) knocked at my door about 2a.m and I asked who it was and they said they were securities, I summoned the courage and opened the door and I saw battalions of soldiers in front of my room with load of ammunition, I was scared but one of the soldiers, who speaks English, said they were there because of the situation in the country that they want to see my identity and I brought out my passport and they searched all my belongings.
“They checked the bathroom, ward rope; I told them we are still in Bamako because we missed our flight because of the situation in the country. He asked me how many we were and I told him we were 10 trapped in the hotel and I told him to go to other rooms for him to know that we are not rebels; that we are footballers and after checking, they left my room and told me to be calm and I shouldn't be worried.” “It was a scary experience but at the same time, I gave thanks to God.” Alaba Adeniyi and Ofem Inah said when the military men were knocking at their doors they nearly jump out through the window out of fear.
However, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Ondo State, Alhaji Yekini Olanipekun, and the Chief of Staff in the state, Dr. Kola Ademujimi, have both stepped up bid to get the players and officials out of their present predicament in the landlocked country of West Africa on the directive of the state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, to arrange for the Nigeria Army jet to rescue them out of the trouble country.
Mali's military junta said it had arrested about 240 persons allegedly associated with an attempted coup earlier this week The government soldiers were shooting guns into the air as a warning in their bids to round up more persons they were blaming for the chaos.