Hon Sergius Ose-Ogun, a lawmaker representing Esan North East/ South East Federal Constituency in Edo state, believes that there is an “evil spirit” in Nigeria which seems to be advising people to do the wrong thing, The Punch reports.
Ose-Ogun’s conviction comes on the heels of the unfair treatment meted to the Super Falcons by the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalong, and the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) by failing to pay their match bonuses and allowances.
Speaking at the sitting of lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Thursday, December 15, Ose-Ogun and other lawmakers condemned Dalung.
He said: “It is not only in sports, Even in the civil service, workers retire after 35 years and they are not paid their dues.
“Why did they have to subject these girls to so much pain?
“There is an evil spirit in this country, which must die.”
A former Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Sports, Mrs Ayo Omidiran, had sponsored a motion on the burning issue.
Omidiran described the girls as “patriotic”, adding that they answered the national call with the belief that they would be paid after the championship, but were disappointed.
Omidiran, who is from Osun state, said: “For the past two weeks, the space has been filled with the cries of these ladies.
“Has it become a crime to make your country proud? What makes it more painful is the fact that the Cameroonian girls, who came second, were celebrated by their President (Paul Biya).
“These girls are not asking for anything extraordinary, but the allowances owed them from the qualifiers till they won the trophy.
“What would have happened if the girls had refused to leave Cameroon and carry out the protests on the streets of that country?”
On his part, Deputy House Minority Leader, Chukwuka Onyeama, told the House that Nigeria would have been saved from the disgrace by simply declining to participate in the championship.
He said: “This is a major disgrace and I don’t know how to explain it.”
According to a lawmaker from Borno state, Mohammed Nur-Sheriff, there was more rot in the sports ministry than Nigerians knew.
He cited the case of the multi-billion naira sports velodrome built for the 8th All Africa Games hosted in Abuja in 2003.
Nur-Sheriff claims that the edifice had long been converted to a warehouse by the sports ministry.
He informed members that no sporting activities took place in the velodrome any more.
He said: “The velodrome has been converted to a warehouse by the sports ministry.
“The ministry now stores gas cylinders inside the velodrome.
“This facility is the biggest of its kind in Africa. Even the one in South Africa is not as big as what we have in Abuja.
“But, go there today, you will be alarmed. It is now a warehouse.”
However, the House directed that the allowances of the girls should be paid immediately.
It also asked the Committee on Sports to monitor compliance and report back to members within four weeks.
Recall that the female national football team had won the 10th edition of the African Women Cup of Nations just concluded in Cameroon.
But after the ladies returned, they are yet to be paid their allowances, a development which forced them to resort to sit-in-hotel and street protests in Abuja for about two weeks.
On Wednesday, December 14, members of the Super Falcons stormed the National Assembly to protest.
The ladies were hopeful that President Muhammadu Buhari, who was due to present the 2017 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly, will see them and show pity on their plight.
However, Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, was on hand to assure the ladies that they will be paid by Friday, December 16.
The Presidency also immediately summoned Dalung and the leadership of the NFF to a meeting.
The girls are said to requesting their allowances and bonuses which is estimated to be $24,000 each, approximately N11.5m per player.
Although, it was gathered that the Super Falcons have been paid the sum of N100,000 each which was learnt to be part payments of their allowances for winning the 2016 AWCON, the girls have demanded more.