The Ondo State contingent participating in the 5th National Youth Games (NYC) at Ilorin in Kwara State, are poised for a showdown with the state government over their camp allowances.

SaharaReporters gathered that the state's contingent (mainly officials) lodged at Lasvegas hostels at the University of Ilorin are currently lamenting their yet-to-be-paid allowances.

The Ondo contingent are participating in the field and tracks events included 67 coaches and 108 athletes.

The state is 8th on the log with 21 medals (6 gold, 7 silver, and 8 bronze medals) in the ongoing games. 

One of the coaches, who spoke to SaharaReporters on Monday on the condition of anonymity said: "I am one of the coaches for these indoor games, and today make it day nine that we arrived here (Ilorin) for this event. And as I am talking to you, we have not been paid our camp allowances and we are already protesting about it and we are ready for a "sit back" protest.

"Throughout the game, nothing like health insurances for all of us here. Honestly, it is sad how the state treats his contingents participating in these games."

Moses Usifo, a coach from Ondo in charge of boxing also revealed that some athletes had yet to receive allowances. 

He accused the government of not taking care of the athletes. 

Another Ondo official stated: Yet, he said the contingents are not being paid their allowances and for their hard work despite making the state proud.

"We are very much aware that the state government approved the sum of N20 million for this game before departing Akure for Ilorin. That money might sound very huge to you but it is not meant for jamboree because there are some sporting equipment that we need to get from the fund. 

"So, we heard the sum of N10 million were released from the money out of which is meant to procure equipment and also do some elimination. As I speak, no equipment was procured and they only bought tracksuit for the athletes, none of us (officials) were given an official tracksuit for the games.

"Now, they said they don't have any money to pay us and that our allowance can only be paid when the remaining N10 million is released by the government. We have told them too, we will have no order choice to protest down here in Ilorin and let the world know what we are now passing through."

Reacting, Wande Fabuluje, the General Manager of the Ondo State Sports Council, said, “Every athlete has been paid for both the elimination and the games because they are even the performers. So, we are still pleading with the coaches to exercise some patience with us, and as soon as salaries are paid, they too shall be paid.” 

The competition will end on 17 September.

 

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