2018 Abuja NSF: How Abia State Contingents Were Ejected From Camp, Spent Two Days Without Shelter
The 2018 Abuja National Sports Festival, NSF might have come and gone, but for the staff of the Abia State Sports Council, the experiences, like the memories of war, when they try to forget, refuses to go
Two years after the competition in which the state came 11th best among the participating states across the federation, it has been revealed that the Abia state athletes and officials went through harrowing experiences to achieve the feat which was a great leap from the 24th position they occupied in the previous edition in 2012.
Those who are close to the council and are in the know of what transpired believed that if the needed environment were provided the “number one state” in the country would have ended up higher than they did.
Our source who is in grade level 16 in the Abia State Sports Council told our reporter in Umuahia of the challenges the contingent passed through including being ejected from the camp and spending two days outside without shelter because the athletes and officials ran out of fund to effect their transportation back to the state’s capital.
How The Secretary Lockdown Umuahia Stadium to Recover his 2018 Festival Money
Our reliable source told us that after spending two days in the open without food, shelter and with no help coming to them from the state government, the secretary, Abia State Sports Council took it upon himself and made his personal money available for the team to return to Umuahia.
Although the source did not tell our reporter how much the secretary made available, he nevertheless disclosed that after the contingent arrived home safely, the council refused to pay him.
It was on this basis that the secretary lockdown the Umuahia Township stadium to in protest for the refund of his money
Our source said: We were even ejected from our camp where we were staying. I mean the contingent. I didn’t stay with them in the camp but when I joined the contingents, I had to stay with them for the extra two days when they were ejected. All of us were ejected.
Aside from that, he was abandoned alongside some other athletes and officials in Abuja. Making us to stay extra two days.
The secretary personally had to make an arrangement using his personal money to transport us back to Umuahia after 12 days in Abuja.
When he asked for his refund, they started telling him stories. He has to lockup the stadium to get his money.
Council Received N10 Million From State Government
The source further confirmed that the Sports Council received the sum of N10 million from the state government for the Sports Festival.
“I am a director on grade level 16, my staying in Abuja, the office was supposed to pay my PTA – Pity Travelling Allowance – of N20, 000 per day amounting to about N200, 000 for the 10 days. But for the period of the 10 days, I was only given N40, 000 to cover my transportation, feeding and accommodation for the period.
BCS: The Governor released N10 million for the Festival, true?
Yes. He did.
BCS: How come the athletes and officials were not paid?
That will be explained by the man in charge, Director of sports.
According to ABN TV, the Abia contingents in the national sports festival decried poor welfare and unavailability of vehicles to ease their mobility while in the competition.
The 240 member contingents alleged that out of the 12m Naira approved for them, only 7m Naira was released, out of which 1m Naira was taken by Ministry of Sports officials, leaving the team with just 6m Naira.
The athletes threatened that if at the end of the festival their outstanding allowances are not paid, they will use any legal avenue to collect their allowances.