Six months after national festival, Rivers athletes protest over unpaid salaries

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Six months after the 19th national sports festival, athletes who represented Rivers State are yet to receive their full salaries and allowances.

The Rivers State contingent to the national sports festival had, at Abuja, venue of the event held in December 2018, threatened to boycott it if they were not paid their salaries and allowances which they said were being owed since 2017 then.

However, the leaders of the Rivers contingent were able to manage the disquiet in their camp.

But Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Port Hharcourt, some angry athletes blocked the Rivers State Government House gate in protest against unpaid accumulated salaries and allowances.

The placard-carrying protesters, numbering about twenty-five, were demanding for the payment of their salaries and allowances.

Some of their placards read: “Boma Iyaye and Sunday Adeyeye took our money. They should pay us,”  “Wike is a good man. He has released our money but some people are holding it,” “Coaches were being paid N400k and N500 thousand instead of N1-2 million. And total money athletes received was N240,000  instead of N720,000,” among others.

Some of the athletes were lying down on the ground, blocking the main gate of the Government House, thereby preventing vehicles from driving in and out of the government house.

Every plea by the policemen and other security personnel on duty for the athletes to shift in order for vehicles to pass fell on deaf ears.

The angry athletes said they preferred to die there rather than leave without their allowances, adding that they were tired of living in hardship after doing the state proud in various sports competitions.

The athletes, many of who are Yoruba by origin, complained bitterly of neglect and ill treatment by the immediate past commissioner for sports, Boma Iyaye, and … Read More...