By NJ Correspondent:
A day after allegations of Wajir County government’s sponsorship of the recently concluded Siyad tournament emerged online, Businessman Siyad Patni who sponsored the tournament which was held in Wajir to raise awareness on radicalization among the youth has refuted the claims saying he solely bankrolled the soccer bonanza.
In a press statement, Siyad said he was approached by FKF officials in the county to sponsor the football tournament and that he solely met all the costs involved but invited local leaders to grace the event.
“I did not receive any funding from either the County Government of Wajir or any embassy. I personally invited the Regional Coordinator Mohamud Saleh and Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi to grace the occasion and also address the youth on various issues including the need to Say no to Radicalisation and Yes to Peace which was the theme of this tournament” clarified Siyad.
The businessman thanked local leaders and urged the youth not to read politics in everything they see.
“It is unfortunate that this tournament can be politicized yet its main aim was to reach out to our young people and engage them positively and sensitize them on radicalisation and peace” he said.
Siyad said he will sponsor more such events in the future including one in 2017 aimed at sensitizing youth on election related matters.
On Sunday, the businessman accompanied two players selected by Harambee Stars head coach Stanley Okumbi who graced the final match in Wajir for trials to join the junior national team in Nairobi.
The players were received by Harambee Stars officials and team captain Victor Wanyama who plies his trade in England and plays for Tottenham Hotspur.
Over the weekend, a section of local youth alleged on social media the businessman was bankrolled by Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi to sponsor the event through a donation by an embassy.
They also alleged he threatened them on phone for their social media posts, an allegation the businessman has denied.