Revelations have emerged following the shocking sack of Chairman, Ekiti State Sports Council, Isaac Ayodele.
It was disclosed on Friday that the Ekiti State Government, through a letter signed by the Secretary to the State Government asked Dr Ayodele to step aside as helmsman at the state sports council.
This was connected to a quarrel between him and the state sports commissioner, Honorable Michael Awopetu following the latter’s handling of sports matters as regards athletes’ preparation for the upcoming National Sports Festival, NSF billed for Benin Edo State.
Following the inauguration of sports Festival Committees previous week by the Sports Council Chairman himself, Athletes and Officials were scheduled to have a meeting on preparation for the festival at the state Sports complex but the commissioner assumed they were going to discuss a planned protest to embarrass his office for withholding funds meant for preparation of athletes and Officials for the National Sports Festival. He then maliciously informed the state Chief Security Officer.
Sports Administrators, Coaches, athletes and members of staff of the Sports Council in Ekiti were shocked on Monday when officers and men of Nigerian Police barricaded the entrance of the sports following a false order by the Honourable Commissioner who put the state Sports Council offices at Kayode Oluyemi Stadium under lock.
Information gathered by Onward News 24 have it that Awopetu ordered the police to block the entrance of the council having got a hint that athletes were planning to protest over his refusal to release funds for their preparation for the sports festival.
Onward News 24 gathered that over 15 million naira has been released by Governor Kayode Fayemi to prepare athletes for the Festival and participate at the festival proper.
Like every other states in Nigeria, athletes and coaches from Ekiti State have been training for the upcoming National Sports Festival slated for Benin, Edo State from December 3rd to December 17th.
The contingents who have been in close camping before the lockdown occasioned by Covid19 have not received a dime as training allowance.
Feelers from the state told Onward News 24 that the Commissioner of Youth and Sports, Awopetu has being in possession of the funds to prepare the athletes for the festival and the festival proper but the Commissioner is now bent on frustrating the athletes and officials from the state by not attending the festival alleging that he has embezzled the funds.
Awopetu was said to have connived with some top officials of the council to syphon the funds. Adeyemi Ganiyu who is the DFA and the General Manager of the Council, Deji Samo are signatories to the council’s accounts but couldn’t give account of how the funds were spent.
A staff of Ekiti State Sports Council who spoke with Onward News 24 on the condition of anonymity said the Commissioner is scared of consequences that may arise from the peaceful protest by the athletes hence his military approach to asked the council entrance to be locked up.
The source said the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi must investigate the matter and bring the erring persons to book just as he said it would amount to wasted efforts and shame if the state is not represented at the festival.
Isaac Ayodele was appointed as Chairman of Ekiti State Sport Council June 2020.
His shocking removal may have caused a major step backward for Ekiti sports.
In his few months in charge, the sports council under Isaac Ayodele initiated Private-Private Partnership towards taking sports to next level in Ekiti state.
The council organized series of training for coaches and athletes across all Local Governments in the state despite running the council with limited and personal funds.
Ayodele, a philanthropist and an astute sports administrator was former Chairman of Ekiti state Football association and one of the independent Director of the League Management Company, the organiser of Nigeria professional Football League (NPFL). He is also the proprietor of Diafa Football Academy. Staff of the Sports Council, coaches and athletes wept profusely as the news of his termination was announced
The National Sports Festival was earlier fixed for April 2020 but was moved to December due to Covid19 pandemic. It’s scheduled to hold from December 3rd to December 17th.