Posted by Chukwuemeka Opara | 3 August 2018 | 1,134 times
The Ebonyi Government has advised political parties to seek alternatives venues for their political rallies as such would no longer hold at the Ngele Oruta Stadium, Abakaliki, due to the ongoing construction at the complex.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state had planned to use the stadium for its rally on Saturday.
Mr Emmanuel Uzor, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. David Umahi, made the disclosure on Thursday while interacting with members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Ebonyi Chapter that paid him a courtesy call.
Uzor noted that contrary to reports, especially on the social media, the stadium would not be used for any rally by the group he described as a faction of the APC in Ebonyi.
“The asphalting of the rear surroundings of the stadium and fixing of lights at the popular stand is ongoing, adding that hosting of political activities there would derail the work.
“The state governor just returned from a tour of China and he attracted investors who would fashion out more ways of making the edifice attain international standard,” he said.
Uzor said that the government would never stifle the opposition in the state, but will accommodate those with genuine ideals.
“The state government has not even used the stadium for a long time and we, therefore, advise the faction to search for an alternative venue early enough,” he said.
He noted that the government had entered into agreement with the Nigerian Professional Football League management (NPFL) to host league matches at the stadium.
“It is true that the state does not have football clubs yet, but efforts have been intensified to float many clubs before the governor leaves office.
“These are among efforts made by the government to revitalise sports as the governor has mandated that schools sports be revived immediately in all schools in the state,” he said.
He commended the leadership of SWAN in the state, led by Chukwuemeka Opara for its adequate reportage of sports activities and pledged the government’s collaboration with the chapter.
Chief Nwachukwu Eze, APC Chairman in Ebonyi, however, said that the party would use the stadium for the rally because it belonged to all citizens of the state.
“The Eagle Square in Abuja is used by both the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the stadium in Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s hometown is used by other political parties.
“The government cannot say that the stadium is undergoing reconstruction because it was one of the projects listed for inauguration during President Buhari’s visit to the state in Nov. 2017,” he said. (NAN)
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