The 21st National Sports Festival will kick start today in Delta State, but Bauchi State contingents are still at home as the state government refused to release funds to facilitate their participation.
This will not only hinder their participation, but they may also be sanctioned as well, according to the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Bauchi Chapter.
Mahmud Yakubu Mohammed, Chairman of SWAN in a statement said the festival will commence today in Asaba, the capital of Delta State.
“Bauchi State chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria is calling on Bauchi State Government to hasten the release of funds to the state sports council in order to facilitate the participation of the state’s contingents in 2022 National sports festival in Asaba, Delta state.
“With opening ceremony slated for today (Wednesday 30th) Bauchi state contingents are yet to depart Bauchi for Asaba for the national sport fiesta.
“Already, some states in the northeast have arrived in Asaba while others are on their way.
“By implication, late arrival to the festival will adversely affect the performance of the state, while on the other hand, non-participation, will attract sanctions and fines on the state.
“Therefore, as a matter of great concern, the SWAN is appealing to all stakeholders to do the needful and ensure that the state contingents depart Bauchi for Asaba latest today Wednesday 30th November,” Mohammed said in the statement.
When contacted, Mukhtar Gidado, spokesman for Bala Mohammed, Bauchi State Governor, was not reachable. Also, a text message sent to him had not been responded to as of press time.