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Exclusive: Angry Athletes, Coaches Vow Not To Represent Enugu In Future Events

…Accuse Sports Commissioner Of Sabotage

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Angered by the alleged deliberate refusal of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to host and reward them, Athletes and Coaches that represented Enugu State in the last National Sports festival, (NSF), held in Benin City, Edo State, South-south Nigeria, have vowed not to represent the state in any future sports competition.

 They lamented that since over three months they came back from the Sports fiesta where they made the state proud by clinching 3 gold, 1 silver, and 3 bronze medals, the Enugu state government, under the watch of governor Ugwuanyi, has not deemed it fit to officially welcome them and say thank you, as being the practice in other states, including South East.

The bitter Enugu contingents, who spoke to African Examiner Sports in an exclusive interview in Enugu via one of their leaders, under condition of anonymity for fear of victimization, as some them are employees of the state Ministry of youth and sports, said “it’s quite unfortunate that over three months we came back from Benin, the state governor, or even the Commissioner for Sports have not said ordinary thank you to us. 

They however, accused the state  Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Manfred Nzekwe, of being responsible for the governor’s refusal to do the needful for them, like his counterparts did to their respective representatives.  

“Please, as Sports Journalist, we want you to assist us through  your reportage on this issue, to let governor Ugwuanyi, know that  we are not happy, that him and his Commissioner for Youth and Sports have refused to reward the Athletes and coaches that did the state proud in the last national sports festival held in Edo state, thereby causing a lot of disagreement between athletes and their coaches.

 “Because of this ill treatment, All Athletes have vowed not to represent Enugu state in any other sports engagement in the future.

“For instance, during the Edo outing, in Paralympic: para Athletics won 2 gold medals in shotput and javelin, Silver Ezeikpe – gold  in javelin and Victor Mbah – Shotput.

“Para powerlifting – 1 gold by Lucy Ejike, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals from boxing, that is a  total of 3 gold medals, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals for Enugu state.

“This is the best record since approximately 20 years now,

 Anambra has since rewarded their Athletes with 1m for gold, 500 for silver and 300 for bronze among other states.

However, when African Examiner Sports contacted the State Youth and Sports Commissioner, Mr. Manfred Nzekwe, on phone for his reaction, on the accusations, he fled up, shouting at our correspondent.

The Commissioner, who is often referred to as Rangers  International  FC Commissioner, because of his nonchalant attitude towards other sports development, said he regretted taking our correspondent’s call, saying if he knew the call was on the Edo National Sports festival issue he would have ignored the call.

 Nzekwe, who was highly antagonistic and unfriendly  with our Correspondent on phone, said the complainants are ingrates, because they are the ones that supposed to express appreciation to the state government for picking some of them from their villages and sponsored them to the NSF in Edo where they went and showcase themselves.

“Infact, I don’t even know why I picked this your call, because I don’t pick calls that I don’t know the number,” the arrogant commissioner told our Reporter .

“So, they want the government to give them money after discovering and sponsoring them to the festival. Most of them were in their villages when the government picked them up, yet they are not pleased, what they want is money.

“They are the ones that should be grateful to the state government, and not the other way round. What they failed to remember is that they didn’t go to Edo on their own, they were sponsored by the state government, so, what are they talking about?

Checks by African Examiner Sports revealed that Enugu is the only State in Southeast and Southsouth Nigeria that is yet to officially receive nor reward it’s contingents to the Edo Sports festival held between 3rd through 18,  April 2021.


Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=65905

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