Posted by News Express | 8 April 2022 | 343 times
By OLAYINKA OWOLEWA
The Kwara Special athletes on Thursday in Ilorin protested the state government’s failure to fund their participation in the maiden edition of the National Para-Sports Festival in Abuja from April 9 to April 15.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the athletes, in their numbers barricaded the entrances leading to the Kwara Stadium Complex, Ilorin, to press home their demands.
One of the athletes, who pleaded anonymity, said they have written to Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, seeking approval to participate in the tournament, but nothing has been heard until Thursday morning which is incidentally the day the games village is opening.
The athlete confirmed that there might be light at the end of the tunnel for them as one person identified as Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters met them earlier and promised to get back to them.
He explained that some members of the Kwara State Sports Commission and representatives of the athletes met with the deputy governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, on Thursday and promised to speak with his boss and get back to them.
“Hopefully we will get a positive response. The Sports Commission is telling us that the governor has travelled and he hasn’t approved anything for them to travel.
“We are of the view that if the governor can hear us through this protest, maynbe he will attend to us.
“We are expecting to hear from them till evening and we are still calm like this because we don’t want a situation where some people would think we want to destabilise the government, we are apolitical,” the athlete said.
NAN reports that the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, had in February stated that the maiden edition of the Para-Sports Games is aimed at giving People Living With Disability (PLWD) in sports a sense of belonging and opportunity to exhibit all their potentials.
The state government and the Chairman of Kwara Sports Commission, Malam Bola Mogaji, were yet to react to the development.
Mogaji did not pick or return calls put to him by NAN, but later responded to an SMS seeking to know the journalist that sent the message.
He failed to respond after the NAN correspondent identified himself via SMS. (NAN)
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