Members of the female football national team, the Super Falcons, have stormed the National Assembly, protesting the non-payment of their allowances by the Nigerian Football Federation since the team won the 10th edition of the African Women championship just held in Cameroon.
The eight-time African champions, who are owed bonuses and allowances by the Nigeria Football Federation, have been protesting since they won the African Women’s Cup of Nations.
Earlier media reports speculated a protest at Aso Rock, the State House, where the Federal Executive Council meeting will take place today, but protesters moved to the National Assembly, where the president will be presenting the 2017 Appropriation Bill today.
The National Assembly has been shut as part of ‘security measures’ for the president’s visit.
The victorious team members have been held up in a hotel in Abuja, many days after they returned to the country with the trophy, owing to non-payment of their entitlements. They protest daily on the streets of Abuja and have vowed never to leave the hotel until their allowances were paid.
The ladies are hoping that President Muhammadu Buhari, who is due to visit the National Assembly today to present the estimates of the 2017 budget to lawmakers, will see them and show pity on their plight.
Some of their placards read, “We are your children, pity us”; “Let us respect women”; “female football deserves respect.”
Meanwhile, some members of the team reportedly face a life-ban for speaking out in protest for their due allowance and “for ridiculing their fatherland before the international media”. Striker Francisca Ordega will be among the stars to be axed after she said she regrets playing for the country. The USA-based star was later blasted by NFF president Amaju Pinnick for her comments. “I can categorically state here that the name Ordega will never be heard or seen in a Super Falcons team list again.