Umar Muhammed, Lafia
The Nasarawa State Government on Tuesday summoned the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development Bamayi Anangba to explain why he sacked no fewer than 65 Nasarawa United feeder team players without consulting Deputy Governor Silas Agara.
The senior team Nasarawa United play in the Nigerian top flight.
The development came after the players marched through the streets of the state capital Lafia to stage a protest at the sports ministry earlier in the day.
The protesters attempted to forcefully gain entry into the premises but were prevented by security officials who quickly locked the gates.
Speaking exclusively to The PUNCH, the leader of the group Usman Abdullahi said the protest was aimed at drawing Governor Tanko Al-Makura’s attention to their plight.
According to him, the sports ministry sacked them without paying them their October and November salaries.
Abdullahi said, “Our contracts will end in 2018 and the ministry is yet to pay us our October and November salaries. They should respect the terms of the agreements by allowing us to complete our contracts.”
He claimed that they played most of their matches without allowances, but still put in their best due to their love for the team.
The deputy governor, who spoke to our correspondent, said the commissioner did not inform the state government before firing the players. He confirmed that he had summoned Anangba.
The commissioner, who spoke to our correspondent, explained that the ministry acted based on the technical report from the management of the team.
He said, “The management of the team submitted a report and recommended that the present team be disengaged to give room for new players.
“Already the ministry is working towards organising the Governor’s Cup to provide a platform for the selection of players for the team.”
However, a top government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that the commissioner acted without consulting the management of the team.
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