05 December 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The bad blood brewing between Bayelsa and Rivers States over oil wells in neighboring communities seem to have boiled over to the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos.
The bone of contention was a Bayelsa State swimmer who was snatched by Rivers State.
The athlete in question won gold in her event and Bayelsa State officials launched a protest immediately, claiming that the swimmer was ineligible to compete for Rivers having not spent up to six months as stipulated in the residency clause.
It was gathered from Bayelsa officials that a top government official has instructed that the matter be pursued to a logical conclusion to prevent Rivers from getting the gold.
“The governor’s office has instructed the state director of sport not to return to Bayelsa if Rivers got the gold,” said a Bayelsa official at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, venue of the swimming competition.
He added that Bayelsa was on the look out for any of their athlete that has been poached illegally by Rivers with a view to launching more complaints.