Abuja National Stadium pitch overgrown with weeds
By Duro Ikhazuagbe
As a result of inability to carry out President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive that the weeds on the Abuja National Stadium pitch be cleared, the Director of Facilities at the National Sports Commission (NSC), Abubakar G. Mogaji, has been queried.
THISDAY learnt from decent sources at the NSC Thursday that the top director was handed the query Thursday and is likely to go on suspension if his response to the query on why the President’s directive was not carried out is not convincing.
“The director has been queried over his inability to carry out the President’s directive. Most of the top officials are annoyed that the weed that have outgrown the main pitch of the Abuja Stadium are still there almost one week after the President paid the unscheduled visit to Super Eagles training ahead of their trip to Monrovia for the Liberia match,” said the source.
It was further learnt that the despicable state of the multi-billion Naira stadium built to host the All Africa Games in 2003 has remained a source of worry to top officials of the NSC. The result of the poor pitch is the movement of national teams around the country for their international engagements.
The Super Eagles, who have now made Calabar their second home due to the poor state of the Abuja Stadium pitch are to return to the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar in October for their must-win, second leg of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations clash with the Lone Star of Liberia.
One of the highlights of Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi presentation to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on why Nigeria did not perform well at the last Olympic Games in London was the lack of decent training pitches where our footballers and other athletes can have quality training.
Abdullahi specifically lamented the deplorable state of the Abuja Stadium pitch and the inadequacy of sports infrastructure across the country.
This perhaps moved President Jonathan to direct that an ad-hoc committee, made up of the Abdullahi, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of FCT, Bala Mohammed, the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, and the Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Dr. Patrick Ekeji be set up to come up with strategies on the renovation and management of the National Stadium in Abuja and other sports facilities in the country.