Ondo football agency workers protest over 20 months’ salaries

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Peter Dada, Akure

Ondo State Football Agency workers  on Thursday   protested against the failure of the  body  to pay them  their 20 months’ salaries.

The agency is in charge of  Premier League side Sunshine Stars,  Rising Stars and  Sunshine Queens.

The protesters,  who gathered at the gate  at the  Governor’s Office, Alagbaka,  Akure,  carried placards with various inscriptions such as, ‘Due to unpaid salaries, workers’  marriages have broken up’ and ‘ODSFA pay our 20 months’ salaries’.

The leader of the group, Mr. Samuel Patani, claimed that   some of his colleagues had died due to the failure of the agency to pay them.

He also alleged that the  money being received from the Ondo State Government by  the agency was only being used to cater for Sunshine Stars with other workers  neglected.

Patani  said “We have two, three workers lying in  hospital that need  surgery, but they don’t have money to pay. One of them, having  prostate enlargement, we don’t want him to die.

“The management always claim that the money coming in is small, and we always tell them to consider us, that we have obligations to meet too. Our children are dropping out of school, we want government to help us and look into our situation,”

He disclosed that the immediate past administration owed the workers for  14 months, while the current  government  is owing them  six months’  salaries. Patani  appealed to the state government to respond to their demand.

The Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports, Mr. Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, who addressed the protesters,  promised to  look into the issues raised by the protesting workers.

Yusuf-Ogunleye also explained that most of the problems in the agency were caused by the past management.

He said, “The governor (Rotimi Akeredolu)  has directed the Commissioner for Finance to look at it and I have met the finance commissioner today, and as soon as the finances increased, the monthly subvention for ODSFA will be increased.

“We will meet with you by Monday to find a lasting solution. We are not here to deceive you, most of the reasons you are here was part of last administration’s fault. Immediately they lost elections, the salaries of players were increased, creating problems for the incoming administration.”

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