By Buba Gagigo
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Bakary Y. Badjie has confirmed that his wife has received allowances for the Commonwealth and Islamic Games he (Badjie) attended.
“If it’s the authentication of the document, yes is true,” the Minister replied when asked whether the said letter is authentic.
Asked whether is appropriate to pay his wife allowance for travelling with him, he replied;
“Yes it is allowed because it is not done behind back door. This was done through a normal process,” he said.
The Minister explained how his wife was included in the delegation as an ‘accompanying guest’.
“There was an invitation from the Commonwealth Secretariat and the GNOC. Both letters came through Foreign Affairs. GNOC came directly to us and the invitation is for the Commonwealth Games. The Minister is accorded what is called ‘accompanying guest’. The Minister, the GNOC President and the Secretary General of the GNOC.
These three are accorded with ‘accompanying guest’ that is part of the delegation. The accompanying guest is different from the delegates. The accompanying guest is normally the spouse of the holder of that office. And the letter came in to us and we acted on it, filled in the names, accordingly with my wife being there as an accompanying guest, and the other officials also have their spouses there, as accompanying guest. And that’s how it happened,” Minister Badjie explained.
About the source of the funds paid to them as allowances; he said: “Government contributed, government did not put 100 percent funding. Government contributed, the IOC through the GNOC also put funds. So it was basket through all the funds went into. The payment was not necessarily done from a government treasury, it was done from the funds that were at the GNOC, it was the combination of our contribution and GNOC contribution” he concluded.
A viral letter to GNOC dated 21st July instructed the payment to the Minister’s wife of £200 for per-diem each day for 14 days, as a accompanying guest throughout the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in England and Islamic Games in Konya, Turkey.
However, Minister Badjie has confirmed that his wife didn’t travel to the Commonwealth Games because she was denied a visa, but she travelled to Turkey, yet she received allowances for both events.