The immediate-past President of the Nigeria Para-Powerlifting Federation, Queen Uboh-Idris, has alleged that the actions of the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, forced her to resign.
Uboh-Idris also blamed her resignation on bullying and intimidation by the sports ministry officials.
Uboh-Idris made the claim at a news conference in Abuja to clear the air over issues surrounding her resignation and other matters.
“I sent my resignation letter to the ministry on February 7 and my reason for the resignation was because I was psychologically and emotionally traumatised by the actions of the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Gabriel Aduda, and some members of the NPPF board.
“I have been bullied and intimidated by the said people and have been verbally assaulted by a director in the ministry.
“I was held hostage for three hours by some NPPF board members. All these affected my health and the climax was my resignation,” she alleged.
On the claim that a trophy won by Nigeria was still in her possession, Uboh-Idris said the trophy which is named after Mrs Buhari was not in her possession.
“It is with the matron of the event, Mrs Ezilo, and will be delivered to Mrs Buhari,” she added.
She also said the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development should be blamed for the issues which trailed the recent Para-Powerlifting World Cup.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the competition was held in Abuja from February 5 to February 7.
“The ministry did not bring any money for the organisation of the world cup. I wrote to the ministry sometime in August 2019, informing them of this competition but they told me they didn’t have money.
“I had to run to my friends and family. Thankfully, Aisha Buhari, President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, who was the chief host and grand matron of the event, as well as Cecilia Ezilo, the deputy governor of Enugu state, came to our rescue,” Uboh-Idris claimed further.
She added that the International Paralympic Committee scored Nigeria above average on the organisation of the event.
Meanwhile, Dare assured all Nigerian athletes that the sports ministry would stand with them in any situation relating to the sport.
He said this while receiving the representatives of the victorious Team Nigeria, nicknamed ‘The Unstoppables’ at the recently concluded Abuja 2020 Para Powerlifting World Cup in his office in Abuja.
During the tournament, Nigeria won six gold medals in the Junior Category and 11 gold medals plus five silver medals in the Senior Category.
In addition, the team broke three world records in para-powerlifting.
The minister added that the sports ministry was backed by the law to supervise the activities of the sporting federations and insisted that it would do its best to protect Nigerian athletes at all times.
A statement by the minister’s media aide, Kola Daniel, said, “The Ministry will intervene anywhere Nigeria’s sporting interests, glory and reputation is at stake. That is why we are the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
“The Ministry will not interfere; that’s why you have a board. And I want to advise, whatever the issues are, the board should do its work.”