Expressing concern over the state’s poor outing at the ongoing Eko 2012 Games, some sports enthusiasts in Imo State have asked the state government to restructure the sector to effectively harness the abundant talents in the state.
Scores of sports enthusiasts, who spoke with The Guardian, urged Governor Rochas Okorocha to completely overhaul the sports ministry, as well as sack the Commissioner for Sports, Kenneth Emelu, if the sector must regain its enviable position in the country.
One of the concerned indigenes, Igwe Okey, said he was sad that the state’s contingent was performing poorly at the festival, attributing it to late camping of athletes, as ordered by the state government.
“We cannot expect to have impressive performance when the state government only allowed camping for training to begin a few days to the event in Lagos,” Okey said. “They were also not rewarded well for the gold, silver and bronze medals they won in Rivers State last year.
“Imagine the Sports Commissioner, Emelu, allegedly rewarding them with about N20,000, N15,000 and less for the last competition last year. He even claimed he was the one bringing it from his pocket. And then, he capped it all by camping them for training just a few days to the festival.”