No fewer than 514 workers of the Edo State Sports Council have been relieved of their jobs by Governor Godwin Obaseki with effect from March 21, 2022.
The sack, according to a memo containing the approval dated March 4, 2022, noted the effective date as March 22, 2022.
The memo stated that the effected workers as junior, senior and management staff, as part of the government transition plan from the now defunct Edo State Sports Council to the Edo State Sports Commission.
It stated that while the affected staff would be immediately paid their one month salary in lieu of notice, their pension payment would commence in April 2022.
The approved memo by the Governor titled, “Transition Plan for Staff of Edo State Sports Council to Edo State Sports Commission states as follows;” Following the assessment for the establishment of the Edo State Sports Commission, we have completed the assessment of Staff of the defunct Sports Council who posses the requisite skills sets to transit to the new Sports Commission.
“In the forgoing, we have carefully reviewed the organisation structure for the new Sports Commission and assessed the existing staff of the defunct Council against the required competences required to operate in the Commission,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the affected staff on Wednesday took to the streets, protesting their sack by blocking all roads leading to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.
The affected workers, comprising athletes, coaches and administrative staff, prevented vehicular movement within the stadium area, and prevented anyone from gaining entrance into the stadium.
Some of the protesters who spoke with Journalists said; ” that they were shocked to receive a circular of their disengagement from the Edo Civil Service and were asked to reapply as casual staff.”
One of the protesters, and former Paralympian, Patience Igbiti, said, “I have been here for over 20 years as a permanent staff and all of a sudden you disengage me.”
“I have rejected jobs abroad to train people for my State, where do you now want me to start from?
“The Governor has not done well and this is not the right way to do this. We have people who are retiring soon, and you sack them.
I am an international figure and I am a bread winner, do you want me to go to Ring Road and be begging. God forbid?,” the Para-lifting coach.
Another affected staff, Friday Aibangbe, a blind athlete, said that; “I believe that the Governor did not consider us at all. We worked for him and voted for him and fought for him, now he has disappointed us.
“You sacked the cripple, you sacked the able, you sacked the blind.
Look at somebody like me, where did the Governor want me to go to. Do I go and start begging money? Make them get human face.
It is very sad, it is very painful.”
Addressing the protesters, the Commission Chairman, Yusuf Ali, promised to take their complaint to the government.
He said; “I wouldn’t have wanted this to be the way we met for the first time, I am a former athlete and you know me very well.
“I have always fought for the welfare of athletes, that is why I am here to see how we can solve this. I need suggestions from you so I can take something back to government.”
Governor sacks 513 Edo State Sports Council Workers