The rights of Taraba FC players was yesterday trampled upon, as soldier numbering over eleven brutalized the players for besieging the government in protest over non payment of their eleven months salaries.
The players claimed they were yet to be paid their remunerations and match bonus by the state government. They stormed the Government House at about 7a.m on a peaceful protest, preventing both staffs and political appointees from gaining access into the premises. But they met a brick wall, as the soldiers drafted into the arena by the state government gave the footballers serious beating.
Government activities in the government house as at the time of this report was on a standstill, as top government functionaries are running up and down seeking for way of persuading the players.
Among top government functionaries who could not gain access to the government house yesterday includes the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Col. Wunike Agyo, Special Adviser on Rural Development, Mammud Abubakar, the Chief Protocol Officer, Kabiru Marafa, Chief Press Secretary, Hassan Mijiyawa and the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, Lawal Sani Kona.
Speaking with newsmen, the team captain, Kelvin Njoku, expressed dismay at the “deliberate” refusal of the state government to “pay us our salaries for the past eleven months.”
Apart from the salaries, which he said the state government has “refused to pay in spite of the bailout given to them by the federal government,” the government, Njoku said “has also refused to pay us our match bonuses.”
It was learnt that the military, who have been keeping vigil in the state capital, were ushered into the government house armed with horsewhip, and the riffles and manhandled the players who vowed to remain in the government house pending when their demands are meant.
Earlier, the Chief of staff to the government, Rebo Usman said the government was aware of their plights, adding that machineries have been put in place to pay them.