Lokoja – Kogi State contingent to the 7th National Youth Games schedule to kick off on Thursday, September 21at Asaba, Delta State, are still stranded in Lokoja due to non release of funds by the state government .
Today, September 20, 2023 is the arrival date for all states participating in the games.
The Federal Ministry of Sports Development had scheduled September 20th – 30th, 2023 for the 7th edition of the National Youth Games to hold.
However, the 71 athletes and officials, that will fly Kogi State flag at the games are still stuck in Lokoja.
The athletes are to participate in badminton, cricket, boxing, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, shooting, weight lifting, wrestling, beach volleyball, and Judo.
However, their hope of participating, in the competition is fading away by the hours as the Ministry of Sports is keeping mum on the development.
Some of the athletes who spoke to Vital News on Wednesday in Lokoja expressed their frustrations and disappointment over the development.
The athletes who were seen at the Lokoja International Stadium were seen hanging around with the hope that the state government will have a last minute change by releasing monet for their participation in the competition.
One of them said it will amount to a total embarrassment if the state refused them to participate in this year’s edition of the competition.
He said he and other athletes have trained hard for many weeks with the hope of winning medals for Kogi State.
The athlete appealed to the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to urgently do the needful by releasing adequate funds to enable them to participate in the competition.
” Kogi State athletes have been preparing for several weeks for this year competition.
“But to our greatest dismay, our preparations might be fruitless due to the recent development that there is still no money for us to travel for the competition.
“Who have we offended? They should forgive us.
“It will be a slap on our face if at the end Kogi athletes fail to compete in this year youth game.
“With our level of preparation, we are very confident that Kogi State will surpass previous records in this tournament.
” If we fail to make it to this trip latest tomorrow Thursday, that means it is over.
“There is no way we can participate in this year competition.
“Am using this medium to appeal to Governor Yahaya Bello to release funds for us to participate in this year tournament.
“The competition is just one day to begin . Being stranded in Lokoja due to lack of money does not speak well for our dear State” he stated.
The Kogi State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Hon. Idris Musa had during an interview with journalists recently stated that, Kogi State is fully prepared for this year youth game. (vitalnewsngr.com)