The clamour by the players of Taraba Football Club of Jalingo for the state government to pay them their 12-month salary backlog took another turn on Tuesday, when the players moved their belongings into the state government house, where they insisted on “not moving an inch,” unless they were paid their entitlements.
Earlier in the day, efforts by top officials of the state’s commission of youth and sport, as well as other top government officials to send the players out proved abortive, as they insisted that they would rather have Governor Darius Ishaku address them or bring an end to the issue than leave the premises without their outstanding salaries.
“As we speak, most of us have had to beg to feed and others depend on the good will of the club’s supporters,” one of the players told LEADERSHIP Sports.
“The most painful thing is that the league has been over for three weeks, but none of us can travel, because of the financial situation we have found ourselves in.
The players ended up sleeping on the streets, in the cold, watched over by policemen who guard the state government house.
Last week, after the players had staged a peaceful protest, demanding to be paid their entitlements, the state government had promised to pay four months’ salaries by Friday.
Having waited in vain for their salaries to be paid over the weekend, the players took to the streets again on Monday.
When contacted, the senior special adviser to the governor on media and publicity, Sylvanus Giwa, explained that the state government is making “concerted efforts” to settle the players’ salaries.
“We inherited the debt from the past government and a committee has been set up to see how the salaries of these young men can be paid,” he said.
Last week, the chairman of the LMC, Shehu Dikko, had confirmed the readiness of the state government to pay the players four months’ salary, restating that the league manager is not reneging on its stance regarding players’ welfare.