A number of athletes registered by Rivers State for the forthcoming National Sports Festival have threatened to dump the state if former technical director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Sunday Adeleye is re-engaged as consultant on sports by the state government.
The rumour was rife last week that Adeleye would be re-engaged, following the appointment of Boma Iyayi as the Sports Commissioner.
Iyayi engaged Adeleye as consultant on sports for River State for the last (19th) National Sports Festival held in 2018 in Abuja and many had feared the ‘sacked’ athletes representative on the board of the AFN was on his way back despite his controversial exit from the job last year.
Adeleye was alleged to owe many athletes either part or full payments of allowances despite the state government fulfilling all financial commitments to the festival.
Iyayi was reported to have revealed last week on a radio programme aired in Port Harcourt that all monies appropriated for the last festival was with the consultant.
“Nobody is happy that Commissioner Boma (Iyayi) is thinking about bringing Adeleye back so soon after what happened in 2018 and 2019. He has not paid many athletes allowances and salaries for the last festival because of that we have lost many athletes and coaches to Delta and Edo states. Many more will leave if Adeleye, who was rejected by track and field athletes as their representative on the board of the AFN is brought back,” said Idowu Kokowa, one of the coaches, who echoed the sentiments expressed by many others on social media.