Politics Sports

Para athletes protest alleged marginaliastion in Kwara

Some Para athletes in Kwara State, on Monday, shut down the state stadium in Ilorin for hours over the alleged marginalisation of their ranks being orchestrated by the Executive Chairman, Kwara State Sports Commission, Bola Mogaji.

The para-athletes very early on Monday besieged the stadium facility, shutting out athletes, coaches and different employees from gaining entry into the stadium.

The standoff lasted for hours till the intervention of a Senior Special Assistant on Special Duty to the Governor, Abdulrazak Jiddah, and Special Assistant on Security, Moshood Gobir, who introduced in police to implement regulation and order earlier than free entry into the stadium was allowed.

After an hour of negotiation with the aggrieved athletes, Jiddah promised that he would take up their grievances to the suitable quarters.

But chatting with newsmen on the stadium, Teslim Balogun, pioneer Power Lifting champion within the state and chief of the protesters, alleged that Mogaji has completely marginalized the particular athletes within the state, shutting off from gainful employment with the fee amongst different allegations.

“He does not have our best interest at heart,” he claimed.

First, he alleged that Mogaji summarily yanked off Bilikis Abolore, representing the para-athletes on the KSC board.

“Her stipends have been stopped too,” he added

According to him, Mogaji has all the time been within the behavior of under-declaring allocations made for para-athletics competitions.

He cited an occasion in 2022 when the governor allotted N20 million for his or her competitors solely to be instructed later by the KSC boss that solely N10 million was paid by the governor.

“What we are paid as stipends is nothing to write home about,” he additional accused Mogaji.

According to him, para-athletes are poorly paid and may’t readily be employed within the KSC regardless of successful laurels for the state.

Kudirat Imam Fulani, gold medalist in para desk tennis on the National Sports Festival and Value Jet International champion additionally spoke in an identical vein.

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“I have not enjoyed the benefit of representing my state,” she mentioned.

In his response, Mogaji refuted the claims, saying athletes’ allegations weren’t a real reflection of the state of issues.

The KSC chairman mentioned that the para-athletes’ protest was because of a reform being carried out by the fee, including that the KSC board which was of two classes: the Statutory Board and non-statutory Board had been diminished to just one.

“The non-statutory where Abolore and some others belong was dissolved leaving the statutory one in place,” he mentioned.

“Since their allowances come from the Secretary to State Government’s workplace, I’ve little or nothing to do with their cash.

“Moreover, the state government won’t pay money to board members who are no longer with the commission,” he added.

The fee additional made out there to pick newsmen, an inventory of coaches and athletes at the moment on the fee’s payroll that are 18 in all, engaged regardless of an embargo on employment by the state authorities.

The record included Bolaji the para badminton champion at the moment WSL3, who’s engaged as assistant coach/athlete on the KSC.

Others are Abdulkadir Kadir Coach, Rasheed Yusuf, Babatunde Abdulmalik, and Yakubu Abdulwahab, all coaches.

According to the record, 13 others draw stipends from the fee as athletes and these included: Kudirat Omoware Imam, Ganiyu Yunusa, Oyinloye Taiye Tolulope, Abdulmumin Ajarat, Asimau Isiaka Kikelomo, Adisa Aminat, Ibraheem Abubat Ajobi, Yahaya Ayuba, Yahaya Aishat, Olaosebikan Babatunde Rafiu, Suleiman Mariam DanMiegoro, Tunde Adekunle and SarafaDeen Oyeleye.

The chairman additional debunked claims that he under-declared cash made out there for competitors.

Disputing the allegation of not declaring the funds authorised for competitors by Governor AbdulRaman AbdulRazaq, the KSC chairman mentioned, “There was no time that I failed to declare what was made available for any competition.”

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