NYG: FCT Contingent Plans Protest Over Unpaid Allowances
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By Amaechi Agbo
Barring last minute change in plans, the FCT Team to the 5th edition of National Youth Games, NYG are set for a showdown with the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, following the none release of money and lack of welfare for the FCT contingent who participated in the games, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
Speaking in an exclusive interview, one of the officials to the games, who pleaded confidentiality for fear of victimisation, said the planned protest has become inevitable in view of the FCTA reluctance to release the money budgeted for the two weeks games.
The official who lamented that the contingent had not received any dime for their two weeks camping from the FCT authorities added that the officials and athletes (children) were forced to cater for themselves during the camping as well as participation in the games in Ilorin.
The official also added that the coaches and other officials with the team used their personal money to pay for accommodation, feeding and every other necessity before and during the games in Ilorin lamenting that the children, who have lost two weeks of academic activities as result of their participation – have suffered a lot and called on the relevant authorities to do the needful or face the protest.
“At the end of the day, we used our money to pay accommodation. As I am talking to you now, I don’t have up to N500 in my account. We camped in Abuja for a week plus, we were not paid a dime. We went to Ilorin, it was still the same. Now we are back home penniless. We were expecting to see alert on Wednesday but nothing.
“We camped for one week plus before the games started unlike other states that camped for two months or more. We camped only one week then on the second week, we travelled for the games.
“Everybody was responsible for his or herself. We had that when the minister read the story about the FCT Team suffering in Ilorin, that he was mad and ordered the release of the money to the Social Development Council. We heard that the minister released the money to them, yet we have not received anything.
“I have told other officials that if we wait for them for two days (the contingent came back Tuesday night) and we do not hear from them, we should all come out. The minister and all of them in the offices are doing this because none of their children was involved. How many of their children are in Nigeria?
“Most of the children we took to Ilorin are from poor homes. The families have been waiting since we left that when their children come back, they will add little upon whatever the government will pay them and then pay their school fees. Yet, the minister and all those in charge left these children empty handed.
Do not forget that these children had lost at least two weeks academic activities in their schools. They sacrificed these and even their lives for the FCT government. Unfortunately, the FCTDA has told them that patriotism does not pay.
“Some of the children’s schools resumed the day we left for Ilorin. Yet, they remained there, participated in activities, hungry, uncared for and above all, abandoned by the people who should have taken care of them,” the source concluded.
Despite not being taking care of, the FCT contingent to the 2019 NYG bettered other past contingents as they won 25 medals made up of 7 gold, 17 silver and 13 bronze to place 9th best state at the games.