Iyabo Abade: Former female Nigerian footballer begs NFF N69.75m for surgery to become a father

Iyabo Abade: Former female Nigerian footballer begs NFF N69.75m for surgery to become a father

Hassan Abdulsalam 19:07 - 02.06.2024

The N69.7 million would fund corrective surgery to enable Johnson to have children.

James Johnson, formerly known as Iyabo Abade, a Nigerian women's national football team player, the Super Falcons, from 1997 to 2000, has requested financial aid (N69.7 million) from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The N69.7 million would fund corrective surgery to enable Johnson to have children.

Johnson (born hermaphrodite; 70% male and 30% female) underwent a sex reassignment surgery in the United States in 2004 with the help of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, who was then the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

Iyabo Abade former Super Falcons star

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The surgery came after previous attempts to address the medical condition, which led to Johnson's departure from the women's national team.

Hermaphroditism is a rare medical condition where an individual is born with some degree of both male and female reproductive organs. While more common in animals, it can also occur in humans.

Johnson's Appeal to the NFF

Iyabo Abade renamed to James Johnson

Johnson reportedly contacted the NFF in 2023 seeking financial support for the surgery but hasn't received a response. Now 40 years old, Johnson strongly desires to complete the surgical process and experience fatherhood.

“Anytime I think that I can’t father a child’ yet, I feel broken, that’s why I wrote to the federation for financial assistance. The NFF president Ibrahim Gusau is a man with a listening ear and hopefully, through him, the federation can help me achieve my dream,” Johnson told Punch.

In the letter titled ‘Appeal for financial assistance to enable me finalise my surgery of transforming from an inter sex person (male and female organs – hermaphrodite) to full fledged man so that I can father a child’, and addressed to the NFF president, Ibrahim Gusau, Johnson said he needed the money to undergo the final two phases of surgery that would make him a full man.

The letter dated April 4, 2023, read, “My President, I am using this medium to passionately appeal to you for God and humanity sake, to use your good office to assist me financially to enable me travel to the United State of America where I did the 1 & 2 phase of surgery (Midway Hospital Medical Centre, Los Angeles) for the surgery and treatment of the 3rd and 4th phase of my transformation to a full fledge man so that I can father children.

“The total cost of the surgery and treatment is one hundred and sixty thousand dollar ($160,000) equivalent to sixty nine million seven hundred and fifty thousand naira (N69,750,000:00).”

The letter to Gusau added, “I was born hermaphrodite i.e both female and male organs and was brought up as a female. I love football and played very well, that led to my selection to play for the Super Falcons in 1997. During my days of playing, an issue ensued that led to a test, which confirmed that I am a hermaphrodite, 70% male and 30% female. This led to terminating my appointment as a female player.

“The NFA (Nigeria Football Association) instructed that I should go for sex corrective surgery. The then Minister of Federal Capital Territory Mallam Nasir El-Rufai in 2004 sponsored my trip to the United State of America to undergo the sex corrective surgery.

“I was told that I’m going to undergo four phases of surgery. The first and second phase was done and I was invited to join the Flying Eagles in camp in 2005. I was coached by Samson Siasia, but I was dropped due to overage.

“I was able to sign up with NEPA Football Club of Abuja, from there I signed for Plateau United of Jos. I later went on to sign up with Crown Football Club of Ogbomoso in Oyo State, where I was discriminated against and humiliated.”