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Osun coaches protest over unpaid allowances, threaten not to return to Oshogbo

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Osun State coaches are protesting the failure of their government to pay their allowances for the National Sports Festival, Edo 2020. They say that out of seven nights spent in camp, the state’s Ministry of Sports has only paid them for three nights.

The Guardian learnt that the officials of the State Sports Council were yet to receive the balance of their allowances.

Some of the contract coaches, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that the state’s Ministry of Youth and Sports only paid them N6, 000 per night for three days, while the allowances for the remaining four days are yet to be paid.

The N6, 000, according to the coaches, was for their accommodation and feeding daily.

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The coaches threatened to boycott the parade of athletes, which is part of the activities lined up for today’s closing of National Sports Festival, as well as remain in their Edo camp until their allowances are paid.

“The situation has been terrible ever since we came here. We barely eat three square meals. The state government has only paid our allowance for three nights. And we know that this is a ploy to rob us. We will not participate in the closing ceremony. Our athletes will not participate in the parade.

“We have already seized the keys to the vehicles that brought us to Edo and we will not allow any athlete to leave this camp until our allowances are paid.

“We have heard that the Commissioner of Sports wants to pay athletes their allowances and take them to Osun, but we will resist that. Nobody will leave this camp until we, the coaches, are given our allowance.

“Even N6, 000 is little compared to the expenses we have incurred here, but we won’t allow any athletes to go until they pay us our allowance. The state governor through the Secretary to the State Government had told us while we were leaving for Edo that our allowances had been released. So, why are they hoarding our money?” one of the coaches queried.

When contacted, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Yemi Lawal, said the balance of their allowances would be paid once the government releases it.

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“You see, our people are used to the old ways. And what do I mean by the old ways? You see, they said they got two of three nights. How much did they get in figure and how much was released by the state government? The entire amount released was shared and I monitored it.

“What we ensured was that most of the athletes who don’t earn salaries from the state government were paid 100 per cent. We must ensure that we do the necessary things, transportation, registration and all of that. After these, whatever is left would be given to the staff of the sports council, who are the coaches.

“So, complaining now that they have not received 100 percent… You are salary earners now and you are committed to what you are doing and that’s why you are paid salaries. So, why not hold on, if we are able to secure fund from the government then you will be paid in arrears.”

He disclosed that some of the funds budgeted for the festival has not been released, adding, “Once the government releases money, they will be paid. The athletes have got their full payment.”

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