By Salifu Usman, Abuja
The Minister of Youth and Sports development, Barrister Solomon Dalung has barred Nigeria’s athletes and officials preparing for the forthcoming Commonwealth Youth Games, scheduled for Nassau, Bahamas, from speaking to the press.
LEADERSHIP SPORTS gathered that the decision was taken to cover up the failure of the Sports Ministry to meet its obligation to the athletes, who have endured pains in camp.
The athletes, who have been in camp for a month at the Package B Hostel of National Stadium, are expected to depart the country today for Bahamas ahead of the championship.
When LEADERSHIP Sports visited the athletes’ camp yesterday for information about preparedness for the games, our reporter was prevented from gaining access to the athletes by the camp official, saying journalists are not allowed to talk to the athletes and technical officials without permission from Dr Ademola Are, director of grassroots sport development in the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
When contacted via telephone by our correspondent, Are, also confirmed that until he get approval from the Minister, he will not grant permission to any journalist to speak to the athletes and technical officials.
“I can’t allow you to speak to the athletes because I don’t know what questions you want to ask them. I’ve to get approval from the Minister before I will do that,” Are said.
The athletes, who have been in camp for the past one month are yet to receive any of their camp allowance despite several assurances by the minister, that all their camp allowances would be paid on time.
Team Nigeria will compete in seven sports, namely swimming, athletics, beach volleyball, cycling, boxing, tennis and judo at the Bahamas championship and would be represented by 26 athletes.
Nigeria came seventh at the last edition of the championship.