Athletes under the employment of the Imo State Sports Commission have asked Governor Hope Uzodinma to immediately sack the state’s Director of Sports in the Commission, Mrs. Chizotan Aritola, for her insensitivity over their welfare.
They made the demand when they took their battle for better pay to the office of the governor in Owerri.
The embittered athletes explained that their colleagues in other states were being paid up to N3,000 daily.
Aritola, who is a former national team volleyball captain, insisted that she could only pay them N500 a day, as camping allowances, and N2,000 as transportation within Nigeria, which the athletes rejected and wondered why she refused to inform them before now, as they demanded to know from her, earlier, before the beginning of the camping.
They recalled that it took the intervention of the Imo State Police Command before they met with her and all she was told to do by the police high command were not obeyed by her, alleging that she boasted that she knows everyone in the government and, because of that, nothing would happen.
The visibly enraged athletes said Aritola bragged that even if the governor gets to know, the Secretary to the Government of Imo (SGI) will defend her before the government.
They also accused her of high-handedness. According to the athletes, even the intervention of former SGI in the state, Sir George Eche, in the matter failed to touch her heart, as she ended up throwing them out of camp and invited the police against them, last Saturday.
This, they said, was after the sports commission’s chairman had asked them to give him three days to meet with the governor over the issue.
They also asked the state government to set up a crack team to investigate the allocation to the sports council under Mrs. Aritola, from the sports festival in Lagos to National Youth Games to date.