Arewa marathon winners cry to Emir of Kano over ‘unpaid’ prize money
One year after, winners of the 2021 Arewa Radio Marathon in Kano State have sent a petition to the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, asking him to compel the organisers to pay them their prize monies.
In a petition signed on behalf of the first, second and third place winners, Stephen Joshua Dolyop, Paul James Palm and Emmanuel Gyang Gwom, by their representative, Izuchukwu Udegbunam of Bunubunu Culture and Sporting Company Ltd, a copy of which was sent to Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), the athletes described as wickedness, insensitive and criminal for the race organisers to commence arrangement for the 2022 edition when they have not paid the winners of last year’s event.
They stated that they were beginning to suspect that the organisers were out to defraud unsuspecting youths of the country.
The athletes said they decided to petition the Emir because the race began in front of his Palace and ended at the Ado Bayero University gate, with the representative of the Emir, Alhaji Abubakar Sule Gaya, in attendance.
“It is necessary that the foremost royal father wades into the matter since they used his name to give credibility to the race.”
They added that after the race, the organisers invited the winners to their station where they offered to pay only the first winner, which their representative refused, reminding them that the athletes purchased forms for the race ranging from N3000 to N5,000 and paid transportation to Kano.
“They also took care of their accommodation, when in the actual sense, they are supposed to keep to the terms of the marathon, which they put down before the race. It was at this stage they changed the story and told us that the race was only for Kano residents, which is unheard of in marathon all over the world.
“It’s unfortunate that Arewa Radio, organisers of the race, could do this to us. The race held on December 4, last year and since then, our prize money have not been paid. Some of us paid registration fee of N3,000, while they collected N5,000 for late registration.
“After this, we were all screened and allocated numbers with running vests, but to our greatest surprise, they have refused to pay the prize money and we are beginning to suspect that the whole thing is a fraud,” the petition stated.
One of the winners, Emmanuel Gyang Gwom, said on phone that as an elite athlete, his only means of livelihood is marathon races and wondered why the organisers are behaving funny.
“I am still at a loss on why Arewa Radio is treating us this way. When I put a call across to the media officer of the race, Binta Fulani Abdullahi, she told me that we would not be paid because the race was meant for only Kano residents. But I made her to understand that the form we filled never indicated that the race is not open to all and after that time, she stopped picking my calls.
“To me, it is unprofessional and that is why we are calling on the Emir of Kano, Kano State Government and well meaning individuals of the state to intervene on our behalf,” he stressed.
When contacted on phone, Binta Fulani Abdullahi maintained that the race was meant for Kano residents and that other athletes were cleared to compete in error.