Since the Sport Minister, Sunday Dare, doled out N11 million naira as a palliative measure for athletes through the “Athlete Relief Fund “to ease the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown, there have been several recommendations and condemnations from Nigerians and stakeholders in the Nigerian sports sector.
The latest condemnations come from former hurdler, Moses Oyiki, who completed in the men’s 110 meters hurdles at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
In an interview with Guardian Nigeria , the London based lawyer accused Himah Charles (Athletes Representative on the board of AFN) and Mary Onyali (Special Assistant to the Sports Minister) of influencing the list of beneficiaries.
“I understand 50 athletes benefited. Himah Charles (Athletes Representative on the board of AFN) and Mary Onyali (Special Assistant to the Sports Minister) unfortunately allowed their human flaws and frailties to influence the list with such a disastrous consequence.
“I do not think it is out of place to tell members of the athletics family how many of its members benefited from the Minister’s Covid-19 palliatives. In a competitive sport like ours, do not expect any act or omission to pass without a response, remark or criticism from athletes and other stakeholders,” he stated.
“It would appear Himah Charles had knowledge of the list and the donations. He said more than 40 athletes benefited and they were paid N50,000 each. This is about N2 million from the N11 million pot. I understand Onyali played a major role in the compilation and the AFN board members, especially the president, were involved at the last minute with minimal or no contribution at all.”
Oyiki , who is a product of University of Benin also commended the Sport Minister for the initiative .