Rivers State contingent to the ongoing National Sports Festival (NSF) has threatened to boycott the Festival if their outstanding salaries and arrears are not duly paid during the competition.
The Nations reports that team Rivers who were duly registered for the competition missed the opening ceremony of the event held at the main bowl of the Abuja National Stadium on Thursday but arrived later the same day for the competition.
Some of the athletes interviewed, however, complained of neglect and alleged that their outstanding salaries and arrears and other financial obligations were not paid before coming for the competition. Team Rivers’ contingent, NationSport learnt, only left Port Harcourt on Thursday morning, hence their late arrival for the event.
“Is it not a shame that we left Port Harcourt yesterday (Thursday) for an event which begins today? How are we supposed to rest and prepare? It is a big shame on Rivers,” the athlete said.
Another athlete warned that Rivers State that used to give Delta and Edo States stiff competition to win the Festival, may not place well at the medals table this time around unless something drastic is done to avoid this crisis.
“Every festival we compete with Delta to finish first, but this time I think they should expect the worst. See the governor of Delta has promised one million naira to every gold medallist from their state, but what has our governor given or promised us?” he asked rather rhetorically.
“If you go to Rivers now, all they think about is 2019, not about us. But they have forgotten we make up the youth population in the state and could decide the outcome of those elections. How will they campaign to the young people in the state?
“We are asking governor Wike to come to our rescue and pay our allowances or we would have no choice but to withdraw from the competition, which will be a big embarrassment for the state,” he stated further.