By Tata Mbunwe
Some youth who were recruited by government to work at the Limbe stadium during the African Cup of Nations, AFCON in January and February last year say they have not been paid.
Some of them who worked as security agents were told they will be paid 200,000 francs CFA after the competition, but nearly one year later, the money is not forthcoming.
They said the local organising committee, COCAN, which hired them, has not heeded their complaints and local administrative authorities have also given them a deaf ear.
“We were hired by COCAN to represent the state as security agents in the Limbe stadium during the African Nations Cup. The stadium workers are still lamenting over their 200,000 wages yet to be paid by COCAN,” said Joyce Williams, one of the workers.
She added that many of the workers are frustrated and angry at the way COCAN has been snubbing them for the past one year.
“It’s disheartening to note that another African Cup of Nations is on the verge of starting when these workers haven’t received any hope of payment, despite the risk they took to serve the nation,” she added.
COCAN recruited many of them to work as security agents, while others picked balls when they ran out of the field.
“Our job description was well stated: security, take care of the fans, match officials, journalists, put order in the stands,” Joyce said.
“Even those children who picked balls have not been paid after a year. The military man who was in charge told us 200,000 francs. They gave us badges as security agents.”
With many of them being students, she said they had hoped to use the stipends to fund their educational expenses but they have been disappointed.
With COCAN giving them no attention, she said they seized the office of the Southwest Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai, but their plight has not been considered either.
“We have been in talks with some stakeholders, including the Governor, copying key administrators of the Southwest region on several occasions but nothing to show for it till date,” she said.
People who worked for the AFCON in Limbe did so at great risk, as Ambazonia fighters in the English-speaking regions had rained threats against those who would have anything to do with the competition.
Mimi Mefo Info