The workers of the Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA) on Thursday protested over 20 months unpaid salaries by the agency’s management.
Reports says that ODSFA is the body in charge of Sunshine Stars FC of Akure. The peaceful protest that took place at the gate of governor’s office, Akure, saw the workers carrying placards to show displeasure with the way the agency is being run by the management, especially the civil servants seconded to the agency.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “Due to unpaid salaries, workers’ marriages have broken up’’ and “ODSFA pay our 20 months unpaid salaries’’.
Others are “Our past leaders in ODSFA have put our lives in danger due to unpaid salaries’’, Arakunrin (governor) save our souls’’ and “Two workers have died due to 20 months unpaid salaries’’.
The Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, while addressing the protesting workers promised to relocate his office to the agency on Monday and look into the issues raised by the workers.
Yusuf-Ogunleye said most of the problems in the agency were caused the by the past managements of the agency, but noted that government was a continuum.
The commissioner said government had taken steps and moving to ensure that the monthly subvention of the agency was increased to ensure some of the problems faced were settled.
“The governor has directed the commissioner for finance to look at it and I have met the finance commissioner today, and as soon as the finances increased, the monthly subvention for ODSFA will be increased.
“We will meet with you by Monday to find a lasting solution. We are not here to deceive you, most of the reasons you are here was part of last administration’s fault.
“Immediately they lost elections, the salaries of players were increased, creating problems for the incoming administration,’’ he said.
However, Samuel Patani, a staff of the agency and leader of the protest, said some of his colleagues had died due to unpaid salaries for several months.
Patani said that monies being sent to the agency was only being used to cater for Sunshine Stars and other workers were neglected.
“We have two, three workers lying in the hospital that needed to be operated on, but they don’t have money to pay, one of them is having enlarged prostate, we don’t want him to die.
“The management always claim that the money coming in is small, and we always tell them to consider us as we have obligations to meet too.
“Our children are dropping out of school, we want government to help us and look into our situation,’’ he said.
Patani noted that the last government owed the workers 14 months, while the current government is owing six months salaries.