They were supposed to compete at the National Youth Games (NYG) in Asaba, Delta State, but several competitors have complained that the government hasn’t paid them yet.
While speaking to BANKPAWA on Thursday, the athletes expressed their frustration with Idris Musa, the Commissioner of Youths and Sports Development, for his alleged part in the holdup.
Somebody named Arome made a public plea to Governor Yahaya Bello to save sports from oblivion.
He pleaded with the Governor to provide the money immediately so they could attend the seventh New York Games.
An anonymous coach warned BANKPAWA that if Kogi State did not compete in this year’s competition, they may be barred from future competitions.
The Director of Sports of Kogi State, Mr. Onipe Halli Obakachi, deserves praise. He has been tireless in his efforts to get participation funding for our athletes. But thus far, it has not yielded any fruitful outcomes. Instead of being proactive in making sure Kogi State is effectively represented, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports is distracted by petty issues. He expressed his hope that Kogi State will be able to send representatives to the event by saying, “Something may yet come out from the Government.
The commissioner was not reachable for comment, since he did not answer his phone or reply to SMS messages.
Kogi State will be represented by 77 athletes throughout the 10-day competition in Asaba.
The state will be represented in a wide variety of sports, including athletics, badminton, cricket, boxing, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, shooting, weightlifting, wrestling, beach volleyball, and judo.
The Federal Ministry of Sports Development has set September 20th-30th, 2023 as the dates for the 7th National Youth Games.