Buhari orders finance ministry to pay Falcons today
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate payment of all outstanding allowances and bonuses being owed the Super Falcons, an official said on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Falcons had earlier on Wednesday embarked on a protest march against the non-payment of their allowances by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). The footballers, who won the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, AWCON, for the eighth time in Cameroon, initially refused to leave their hotel rooms at Agura Hotel in Abuja.
They had, upon returning from the competition which they won on December 3, been waiting for the payment at the hotel where they were accommodated by the NFF.
Speaking later, the Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Abba Kyari, told State House correspondents on Wednesday that the issue had been resolved.
He said government had since directed appropriate authorities to settle the players’ allowances and bonuses. “The problem has been resolved. They have done us proud and we congratulated them. The Ministries of Sports and Finance have been directed to pay tomorrow (Thursday).
“I don’t know the details of the arrears. But they have been directed to pay,” the presidential aide said.
In her remarks, captain of the Falcons, Rita Chikwelu, lamented that the NFF did not treat them well when playing in Cameroon during the 2016 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Explaining their ordeal, she said they were ordered out of the hotel at Douala in Cameroon the very night they won the competition.
She said this led them to sleeping at the airport with the competition’s trophy they won by beating hosts Cameroon 1-0 on December 3. “Officials of NFF did not encourage us at all in Cameroon. We never saw the NFF President (Amaju Pinnick) and General Secretary (Mohammed Sanusi) in Yaounde when we played in the semi-finals.
“Surprisingly, we saw them in the crowd at Douala where we played the final match and having won that night they asked us to leave.”