Physically Challenged Athletes Protest In Lagos

Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare

Physically challenged athletes on Wednesday staged a protest in Surulere alleging that there are plans to remove some para-sport events from the National Sports Festival.

They aggrieved athletes by the National Stadium and insisted that all the Para sports exempted from the festival must be included.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes one the athletes Ms Joyce Otun, as saying it had become necessary they staged the protest as members of her group were being marginalised due to their disabilities.

“We are protesting because they deny us our rights, the National Sports Festival must include all Para Sports and none should be denied participation.

“Only three of our sports have been enlisted in the National Sports Festival, if they would not include all our sports they should forget about the festival this year.

“We are not ready to stop, we will continue this protest until they heed our call,” Otun said.

Another protester who pleaded anonymity said the disabled sportsmen were being ignored, hence their grievances.

“We want the government to do the right thing. They should give us what rightfully belongs to us, that is what we are fighting for through this protest.

“If they would not grant us our request, we will be here for the next 24 hours until our sports are included in the National Sports Festival.

“We are not being treated right by the government in spite of the fact that we win majority of the medals for the country,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that policemen of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad (RRS) were later deployed to the area.

The protesting athletes, thereafter, left the scene, a situation which eased traffic flow, bringing relief to commuters.

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