The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki have relieved 513 workers of the Sports Council of their jobs effective from March 21, 2022, while this approval is contained in a memo dated March 4, 2022.
Penpushing reports that, the approval as contained in a memo declared that the affected workers who were junior, senior, and management staff, were part of the government transition plan from the now-defunct Edo State Sports Council to the Edo State Sports Commission.
The memo disclosed that the affected staff would be immediately paid their one month in lieu of notice, adding that their pension payment will commence in April 2022.
“Following the assessment for the establishment of the Edo State Sports Commission, we have completed the assessment of staff of the defunct Sports Council, who possesses the requisite skills to transit to the new Sports Commission’, the memo said.
“In the foregoing, we have carefully reviewed the organisation structure for the new Sports Commission and assessed the existing staff of the defunct Council against the required competencies required to operate in the Commission,” the memo added.
Penpushing further reports that, following the development, the affected staff on Wednesday embarked on a protest, blocking all roads leading to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.
The sacked workers, comprising athletes, coaches, and administrative staff, prevented vehicular movement within the stadium area and prevented people from gaining entrance into the stadium, and some of them who spoke with journalists, expressed shock over the development.
Penpushing also reports that, they said it was surprised to receive a circular of their disengagement from the Edo Civil Service and were asked to reapply as casual staff, just as one of them, former Paralympian, Patience Igbiti, said he has been with the council for over 20 years, stressing that it was amazing to have disengaged him suddenly,
“I have been here for over 20 years as permanent staff, and all of a sudden you disengaged me.I have rejected jobs abroad to train people for my state, where do you now want me to start from?, she said
“The Governor has not done well and this is not the right way to do this. We have people who are retiring soon, and you sack them.I am an international figure and I am a breadwinner, do you want me to go to the ring road and be begging? God forbid”
Penpushing reports that, in his own reaction, Friday Aibangbe, a blind athlete, lamented that, it was unfortunate that, the Governor did not consider them, having worked for him during his second term election
“I believe that the governor did not consider us at all.We worked for him and voted for him and fought for him, now he has disappointed us. You sacked the cripple, you sacked the able, and you sacked the blind. Look at somebody like me, where did the governor want me to go? Do I go and start begging for money? It is very sad, it is very painful,” he said.
Penpushing further reports that, the commission’s chairman, Yusuf Ali, who is a former athlete, while addressing the protesters promised to take their complaint to the government, and called for suggestions from them.
“I wouldn’t have wanted this to be the way we met for the first time, I am a former athlete myself and you know me very well. I have always fought for the welfare of athletes that is why I am here to see how we can solve this. I need suggestions from you so I can take something back to the government’,Ali said.
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