Athlete petitions Ayade, cries out for help
By; Vitalis Ugoh, Calabar.
An indigenous athlete, Ndarake Daniel, who had won several laurels for the state in both national and local sports festivals, has called on the state governor Senator Ben Ayade, to wade into the issue surrounding his non employment for over 10 years running by the Sports Commission.
He suggested that an investigation panel be set up to unravel the circumstances that had delayed his employment after the two former governors had directed the State Civil Service Commission to do so.
Daniel, who hails from Ikot Edem Ndarake in Akpabuyo local government area, told New Nigeria Sports in an interview, that he had remained frustrated since October 1996 till date without been offered any form of employment by the sports commission despite his contributions to the development of sports in the state.
Narrating his ordeal, Daniel who is a weightlifter, said the civil service commission chairman then had approved his employment following the governor’s directive after purchasing the employment form since July 8th, 2013.
He alleged that some group of persons in the sports commission led by his Coach was responsible for all he is passing through for no just cause. “When I discovered that my name was not shortlisted for interview I quickly petitioned the Commission and I was thereafter interviewed and promised an employment”.
Ironically, he said, after waiting for several weeks without hearing anything, “I followed it up and discovered that my Coach went to the Director of Sports and advised him to remove my name from the list and replaced with someone else”.
Daniel further said, “When I confronted Evangelist Helen Mathew, her coach over the matter, she merely said that there was a mistake that needed to be corrected. She said that she should have sent my name as Senior Athlete rather than Sports Assistant II that was why my name did not appear”.
In 2006, I petitioned former governor Donald Duke who directed that I should be employed, but mysteriously my file got missing out of the lot that was sent back to the Sports commission. this was under the chairmanship of Prof. Charles O’neil”, he added.
Instead, he further said, “on our way back from 2006 Gateway National Sports Festival, Abeokuta, where I was issued a certificate of participation my thank you was the stoppage of my N3000 allowance. This ugly development made me to write to the chairman of sports commission who replied via 760 stating that I am not an athlete of the state sports commission and as a result, I am not entitled to any allowance”.
Irked by this, “I wrote another petition and called on the chairman to investigate the certificate issued to me in Abeokuta if it was faked, dated 6th-20th April 2006. Few days later, the commission restored my allowance for just two months out of the 20 months I was been owed”.
This unwholesome development, he said, made him on 18th of August 2008 to apply “for the release and payment of my 20 monthly allowances from September 2006 to May 2008. Up till date I have not received one kobo from any quarters.”
Daniel said he was paid allowance during the 2008 Enugu National Sports Festival where he won a silver medial for the state and wondered why the commission wants to stop the allowance; it could have communicated same through writing as documented in a letter of approval signed on behalf of the Director of Sports by Vincent Okpo Bassey then.
However, while commenting on the issue, he described his personal experience as frustrating. This is not a welcomed development to any athlete to experience.
According to him “ it kills the spirits of talented athletes and called for a change of attitude and approach to be able to keep and tap from the wealth of their experiences”.
He appealed to Ayade to wade into his case and offer him employment as he has been living under very difficult condition as an indigenous athlete. “I have trained weightlifters who represented the state in both national and local sports where they all excelled.
“I and many others who cannot be heard have been abandoned for no reasons. We are Cross Riverians and deserved to be treated as such. Give us employment so that we can survive with our families, he added”.
He regretted that the abandonment of sports men and women will kill the enthusiasm among the young ones who are ready to give out their bests in any competition while representing the state. “Weightlifting is the hardest among all the sports. We need encouragement to be able to sustain ourselves. The training is very hard”.
Daniel, had trained weightlifters that represented the state in School sports festivals in Abuja and Makurdi where the state emerged 1st and 2nd positions respectively.