Athletes of Edo State have reeled out tales of woes about alleged neglect from their officials, who they accused of putting all interest and attention in trying to organise a flawless National Sports Festival, without caring about the comfort of their representatives, megasportsarena.com reports.
Even with the Festival now postponed on account of coronavirus pandemic soaring through Nigeria, the athletes that would have represented Edo State from this Sunday till the initial closing day of April 1, are lamenting lack of funds and poor treatment from the officials.
A cross-section of the Edo athletes further revealed that they are currently stranded in Benin City, after the Festival’s postponement last week, as their state government owes them 15 days camp allowances.
One of the male athletes told aclsports.com that the officials refused to pay camp allowances for all athletes in the various sporting events since the Festival tagged Edo 2020 was postponed on Thursday.
The athlete disclosed: “Immediately President Muhammadu Buhari approved the postponement of the National Sports Festival, we expected that the host, Edo state government will pay our camp allowances but till now we have not seen any alert.
“They promised to get back to us before 10am today but nothing has changed. Some of the athletes who could not bear the hardship have told their family members to send them transport fare pending when Edo state government attend to them.”
Another athlete told aclsports.com that facilities and equipment in hosting the Festival were all in place and ready for use at the start of the Festival, as the local organizing committee met up with all expectations, but says they overlooked welfare of their representatives, such that it took series of meeting and protests to ensure the right things were done for those in camp.
The second athlete posited: “We can see through the television advert given to various stations in the country that Edo state is ready to host the game. In fact the sports minister, Sunday Dare was on ground to see the level of preparedness but the athletes are passing through hell. We have been intimidated by top government officials in the state but we will not be discouraged and do our best for Edo state.”