Adu was in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on March 14 to compete at the Zone 4.2 Individual Chess Championship but has been stranded in Abidjan, after his Air Cote d’Ivoire flight was cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in West Africa.
Adu said he embarked on a three-day road trip from Freetown to Abidjan, and has been stuck in the Ivoirian capital after Ghanaian police turned him back at the Ghana-Ivory Coast border.
Media aide to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, John-Joshua Akanji, told The PUNCH on Friday that efforts were being made to bring back the chess player to the country, adding that some money was also given to the International Master.
He said, “He (Adu) wasn’t the only one that went for the tournament but others came back before the COVID-19 lockdown.
“I have also been told that he has been connected to the Nigerian Embassy in Ivory Coast; Abike Dabiri-Erewa (Chief Executive Officer, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission), has spoken to somebody at the embassy and he was also given some money…”
But Adu, who emerged second at the chess championship in Sierra Leone, denied receiving any financial assistance from the Nigerian government.
He wrote on Facebook, “According to the report by The PUNCH some couple of days ago (May 22, 2020) about me receiving money from either the Sports Ministry or Nigerian government is totally false.
“I did not receive money from any authority and if there is such a claim, they (government) should back it up instead of making a false statement. I never got anything from any authority; the only money I got connected to Mary Onyali was a woman here who I guess is a friend with her.”
In a chat with our correspondent, Adu added, “I didn’t receive any money from government as stated. An individual gave me CFA100,000, about N64,000. What has that got to do with the government? Government and the sports body are yet to do anything, just vain promises.”
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