Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, has expressed his disappointment and taken swift action following the shabby appearance of the state’s contingent during the opening ceremony of the 7th National Youths Games in Asaba, Delta State.
Governor Oyebanji revealed that despite approving N20 million for the national games festival, the Ekiti State Sports Council failed to procure appropriate kits for the athletes.
The governor, speaking in Ikere Ekiti on Tuesday, announced that he had recalled Adekunle Adeyemi, the General Manager of the State Sports Council, from the games after the public backlash and criticism that followed the appearance of the state’s contingent.
The Ekiti athletes were widely criticized for their poorly presented appearance at the march-past event during the opening ceremony.
Governor Oyebanji attributed the recall of the Sports Council’s General Manager to “cases of corruption and gross negligence.”
He used the occasion to issue a stern warning to public servants against engaging in fraudulent activities that could embarrass the state.
The governor expressed his displeasure, saying, “What happened was an embarrassment to us as a government and the people of Ekiti State. It occurred just because some people wanted to make money for themselves. They came with a proposal of N25 million, and I approved N20 million, but they didn’t procure the kits they were supposed to purchase.”
He further explained that the Sports Council had provided kits for him as the governor to create the impression that they had complied with the requirements when, in fact, they had not provided kits for the young athletes representing the state.
Governor Oyebanji also revealed that the athletes had not been properly accommodated in hotels during their stay in Delta.
Expressing his concern for the welfare of the young athletes, the governor emphasized, “How can you take children to Delta and mess up the whole show? If we sack them now, some people will start pleading for them. I am saying this because if we want to clean up the system, the governor and his cabinet alone cannot do it.”
Governor Oyebanji stated that he had sent a psychologist to speak with the affected young athletes in Delta and assured that “decisive action will be taken on all those involved in the unfortunate development.”