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MUST READ: Seasoned Sportscaster, Godwin Enakhena’s Open Letter to Acting President Osinbajo

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MUST READ: Seasoned Sportscaster, Godwin Enakhena's Open Letter to Acting President Osinbajo

MUST READ: Seasoned Sportscaster, Godwin Enakhena’s Open Letter to Acting President Osinbajo

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MUST READ: Seasoned Sportscaster, Godwin Enakhena’s Open Letter to Acting President Osinbajo

MUST READ: Seasoned Sportscaster, Godwin Enakhena’s Open Letter to Acting President Osinbajo

SUNSHINE STARS AND SUNSHINE QUEENS OF AKURE PLAYERS NEED YOUR HELP

Your excellency,

My name is Godwin Enakhena, a practicing sports journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria.

This is to draw your attention to the plight of footballers and officials of Sunshine Stars and Sunshine Queens of Akure who have alleged that they’ve not received salaries and allowances from their employers, the Government of Ondo state for about seven months.

Not left out are workers of the Ondo State Football Agency who claim they are owed thirteen months salaries.

Realizing that there will be a change of government in the state in a few days, these hard working Nigerians took to the streets of Akure on Monday in protest and final destination was the Ondo state government house in Akure.

I spoke with the captain of the men’s team, Abe Sunday on Tuesday and Wednesday on my Radio and Television platforms and he told the pathetic story of how the outgoing governor, Olusegun Mimiko informed them that the state Accountant General who is in possession of cheque books was no where to be found and that if they could trace him, they will get their monies. He’s not been found.

Sir, these breadwinners have had to rely on kind hearted Nigerians to feed daily while they are chased around town by ‘mama puts’ whom they owe so much money.

I also found out that these players were asked to sign documents sent to the League Management Company that Sunshine Stars was not owing them backlog of salaries. This I learnt was done by the players under duress after repeated threats by the club management that wanted to beat the LMC deadline for registration for the new season. A club has to show proof that it is not owing players before it is registered for the new season. Interestingly, the players revealed that they also ensured that the Sunshine Stars management signed a separate document with them showing that they are owing them backlog of salaries. This letter is with the players.

When confronted by the LMC on Wednesday, Sunshine Stars management said they are owing the players two months salaries and not 7,  backed by documents in possession of the LMC which were used to register the club. Good news is that the LMC has some money due Sunshine Stars which it will use to offset part of the debts owed the players while it has set up a committee to investigate the claims of both parties.

Sir, as at the time of writing this open letter to you, Sunshine Stars and Sunshine Queens players are still at the government house in Akure begging to be given what is rightfully theirs. In fact, they alleged that they were teargassed yesterday night at about 8.30pm and chased out of the gates by security personnel.

Sir, I must admit that this is a norm in the league that has 16 out of 20 clubs run and sponsored by state governors; which is an abnormality in the world. The case of the men is better than that of the women who are not paid at all. They’re neglected and abused at will by their management.

The role of government starts and ends with provision of infrastructure and an enabling environment; at best grants to sporting associations which allows sports to thrive. Why is our case different?

I remember the former Governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola who despite persistent pressure from Lagosians to float a football club told them it is not the business of government to do that and in turn built stadia and infrastructure across the nooks and crannies of the state. The former Governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomole said he wasn’t going to use money meant for civil servants to pay footballers. He turned his back on Bendel Insurance and asked the private sector to take over the team. This is the way to go, if not, we will continue to experience the kind of embarrassment Sunshine Stars and Sunshine Queens are causing the nation presently through no fault of theirs.

Please, sir, help these young people to meet their responsibilities to their families.

God bless Nigeria.

Citizen Godwin Enakhena, Lagos, Nigeria.

MUST READ: Seasoned Sportscaster, Godwin Enakhena's Open Letter to Acting President Osinbajo

Dare Gbadebo
www.naijaonlinetv.co.uk


Author: Dare Gbadebo is the publisher with the trademark darebaba.net is a versatile writer who had his media training based on photography at PEFTI film institute and has written for many top media houses in Nigeria. Stay tuned for your favourite celebrity news political updates and paparazzi. Darebaba on social media Facebook | Instagram | Google+

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