With Boko Haram, Kano Is Not Safe-- Sani Kaita
I Will Not Let Nigerians Down Again-- Sani Kaita
The name Sani Kaita cannot be forgotten in a hurry, thanks to red card he got during a group match of the Super Eagles against Greece at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Two years after that horrific World Cup experience in South Africa, Kaita received a shock recall from Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi. The 'second chance' given to Kaita has generated many reactions. In this interview with Joi John, Sani Kaita talked about his trauma of being in the black book of Nigerians who found it difficult to forgive him of his 'mistake' at the tournament and other sundry issues.
Congratulations on your recall to the National Team! How does it feel to be back after the sanction
I feel great. It's great to be back. I have been waiting for this for a long time. Almost two years. It was not easy. I give credit to God and I am very thankful to Stephen Keshi. He was the only Coach who took the responsibility of ensuring my return to the team. I also thank the Federation and the Chairman, Aminu Maigari for giving me a second chance to play again. I thank all those who have been there for me. Even you, Joi. I appreciate everything and I thank everybody who helped me. More especially, Stephen Keshi. It is like a dream come true for me.
What was your immediate reaction when you were invited back to the team
I was really shocked. I knew Keshi as a Coach. I didn't know him personally. When he approached me that he needed me in the team, I was shocked. I couldn't believe it. Because he trusted me to bring me back, I will not let him down.
Looking back, what regrets do you have from the incident at the World Cup
I regret everything that happened. It was a bad moment for me and I am very sorry things happened the way it did. I will not let Nigeria down again.
What is the relationship like with your team mates
I have a very good relationship with all of them. The guys were happy to see me back in the team. Despite what happened, they all supported and encouraged me. We are like brothers.
When are you likely to report to camp for the next phase
It will either be by the end of May or the first week in June. We will finish the league here in Ukraine on May 10th and afterwards, I will be in Nigeria.
As you plan your return to Nigeria, what is the one issue in the country that bothers you
The bombing and killings of innocent people is unfair. I was in Kano when the multiple bomb blasts occurred. There were several bomb blasts in one day. It was really scary you know. You walk on the street and someone just guns you down for no reason. It is very bad. Last month when I went to join the team to prepare for our match with Rwanda, I visited my family house in Kano and I could not sleep. I had to leave and go to the Hotel. Even there in the Hotel, it is not safe. I am a person who believes in unity. So, the whole issue makes me very uncomfortable.
Your fans all over the world are expecting so much from you this time around. What message do you have for them
Now that I am back to the team, I will give my best. I have always played good and I am sure that this time, it will not be different. I need prayers from my fans and well wishers to achieve what I intend to achieve with the team which is success. Together, myself and the other players will work hard to make Nigeria proud.