Following an announcement of reward package for athletes that represented the state at the 2022 National Sports Festival held at Asaba, Delta State between November and December by Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, Oyo State athletes that came forth in the event have raised voices in appeal to Governor Seyi Makinde to follow suit.
Some athletes that spoke at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex Adamasingba, Ibadan lamented the poor state of their welfare, stressing that the rewards from government after good performance at the festivals is the only lifeline they relied on for survival.
“Unfortunately, the government has not said anything officially to receive athletes that won 50 gold medals, 51 silver medals and 62 bronze medals, to clinch the fourth position at the competition, moving up two spots from the NSF, Edo 2021, medals table.
“We know our Governor likes sports and always cared for our welfare because he awarded the sum of N500, 000 for each gold medal, N350, 000 for each silver medal and N250, 000 for each bronze medal to athletes after Edo 2021 and we know he’s going to do better after Delta 2022. But we’ve been waiting in vain to hear from him,” said one of the medalist.
Speaking in the same vein, another athlete said the special athletes that represented Oyo State at the first edition of National Para Games tagged “Abuja 2022”, organised by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development were yet to get what the government promised them after the event that was held in March 2022.
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The disabled athletes appealed to the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde to fulfill the monetary pledge for their good performances because Team Oyo in their first appearance gave a good account of themselves after securing the second position by grabbing 24 gold medals, 15 silver and 21 bronze medals, totaling 60 medals behind Team Bayelsa the winner of the tournament.
It will be recalled that, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Seun Fakorede who on behalf of Governor received the contingents after their arrival at the government secretariat promised handsome cash rewards for their good representation of the Pace-setter State and their sterling performances.
“Although none of the government officials promised us anything before we left; but the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Seun Fakorede who hosted us in his office on the 21st April, 2022 promised on behalf of the Governor to reward our efforts monetarily. Some states, such as Bayelsa and Kwara have rewarded their athletes.
“We want the Governor who is noted for his love for sports development to remember us because it is almost a year now and we have not heard anything from them. Most of us are on contract appointments with paltry 30 thousand monthly salaries”, said one of the athletes who pleaded for anonymity.