By Adejumo Kabir
Director of Sports, Students’ Union, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife Michael Adewumi has insisted that the university management has not being taking the welfare of the athletics serious which is capable of derailing sport development in the university.
He disclosed that the institution was known to be great in the world of sport years ago but has gradually turned to past glory due to the negligence of the school management in the aspect of welfarisim.
OAU Sport Council was ranked 17th out of over 40 universities that partook in the Nigeria Universities Games (NUGA) held at University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
Adewumi argued that the athletes found themselves in such rank because their welfesrism were neglected.
He said “We were paid the sum of N1,500 daily while a plate of food at the venue was N700, this simply means we cannot even eat three square meal with the money, let alone of having left over unlike other institutions like University of Port Harcourt, Adekunle Ajasin University, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, and University of Benin among others who paid their athletes N50, 000 each as competition allowance”, Oluwamicheal said.
The council also accused the management of not providing accommodation for students who represented the varsity during the game after spending their Easter break on playing ground.
“The Division of Students’ Affairs promised us over 200 bed spaces but disheartening that they told the Sport Council in our last meeting that they can only provide 50 bed spaces for male athletes and 50 for females, only football players will take 22 for male. I will like to inform you that we have 16 NUGA games with no fewer than 20 athletes in each sport.”
However, the management dismissed the sport council claim through the office of Dean of Students Affairs, Professor Grace Akinola who spoke with our reporter in a phone conversation that the sport council was the architect of the athletes misfortune.
She accused the sport council of submitting their budget late for pre – NUGA at University of Ilorin and also repeated the same action during NUGA at the University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
She said “I am disappointed in the sport council, I thought they will learn from the pre – NUGA but they did not . I personally looked for buses that conveyed them to the playground during these periods which was as a result of their negligence and the level of their incompetence.
“The University don’t just disburse money, it has procedure, which cannot be met as at the time they submitted their budget.
“I begged them to submit the names of athletes for bed space before they went for pre-NUGA but they refuse to submit them in time, they submitted the list of more than 100 male students and more than 100 female students. On our part, we realized that they can only get 50 bed spaces for male and 50 for females which was born out of their late submission.
By the way, it is not in the handing over of the former dean of the students’ affairs to me that their accommodation is statutory and we are not mandated to give them a certain number of bed spaces”, the Dean said.