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Youth Games: Kwara athletes locked out for debts

*FCT storms Ilorin with 135 athletes

hosts of the Nigeria Youth Games were locked out of the accommodation facilities forcing the athletes to sleep in available spaces like classrooms when the event opened on Thursday. Their offence? The state was alleged to be owing the University in previous activity.

Apart from this incident, there has been a high wired discontent between the state government and the staffers of the sports council over money, allowances and management of the welfare of the athletes.

Counter accusations were traded over the sum of six million Naira which the state government approved for the Games. The sports council submitted the sum of N11million but six million was approved based on the budget of last year. Some persons wanted to corner two million and we, coaches, objected.

Mr Bolakale Ayo-Nuhu Sports and Youth Commissioner for Kwara
Mr Bolakale Ayo-Nuhu Sports and Youth Commissioner for Kwara…denies claims against him

Contacted, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Pharmacist Kale Ayo accused the coaches of being selfish and unreasonable. They had to write a threat letter to say they would not participate in the event. N4million was approved which we made available to them.

They are just unreasonable. They claimed that last year, it was only individual sports that were presented unlike this year where the state presented team sports. Our budget and income stream dropped by almost N1billion and we needed to cut coat according to our size. We tried to make them understand but they were so adamant.

Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory contingent to the 2017 Nigeria Youth Games arrived on Thursday with a contingent of 135 athletes.

Confirming this in Ilorin, the FCT Acting Director of Sports Dilichukwu Onyedinma said the athletes are in high spirit and aiming at surpassing their performance in the last edition.

“We had our intensive camping, which lasted for almost two weeks. This enabled us to put the athletes in top shape for the games. We arrived Ilorin on Thursday which was the arrival day”.

Continuing, the former NFF Executive Board member said “the athletes and officials are in high spirit. We have 135 man contingent. Just as we won the youngest team award last year, we are bringing younger children who knows their worth to the games. Our gymnasts, chess and scrabble players are between the ages of 6 and 12years. Yes, we want to surpass our records of last year.

Our Minister is children and youth friendly. He has been keeping them busy through sports.

And the kids and youths are happy with him and they are praying for him.

And they have promised to do their best for the Federal Capital Territory” she concluded.

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