The Akwa Ibom State Government has disclosed President Muhammadu Buhari will not be permitted to use the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, for his campaign next Friday.
The state government, has however, approved the use of the Uyo Township Stadium, which according to information gathered by Naija News, accommodates a smaller number of people compared to the 30,000-capacity Godswill Akpabio stadium.
It is understood that President Buhari is scheduled to be in Akwa Ibom on Friday to flag off his presidential re-election bid in the state.
Monday Uko, the Commissioner for Sports in the state however disclosed that denying President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC), use of the Godswill Akpabio stadium is not a political move.
He disclosed in a statement during the weekend that the stadium will be under renovation in preparation for the commencement of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) which is scheduled to begin on January 13, 2019.
“The next season of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) is scheduled to begin on January 13, 2019. In view of this and the fixtures of home matches for Akwa United FC, it will be practically impossible to ‘regrass’ the stadium for pre-fixed matches, if used for non-sports activities, because of the nature of pressure that such events bring on the pitch.
“Additionally, The Maintenance Contractor (Julius Berger) had also advised that the present atmospheric conditions being very hostile to the pitch, the facility should not be used for non-sport activities during this harmattan period, so as to avoid inflicting long-term or irreversible damage to the grass on the football pitch,” Mr. Uko said.
The commissioner further explained that the annual state-sponsored Christmas Carol night in Uyo took place in the Uyo Township Stadium, instead of the earlier proposed Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, because of the same reason.
“The stadium from its inception has been under a maintenance contract with Julius Berger Construction Company. They operate all the sensitive and non-sensitive components of the facility,” he said.
Naija News recalls Senator Godwill Akpabio, recently defected from the PDP to the APC, but the state governor, Udom Emmanuel remains a PDP member, with the two politicians vying for the control of the political power in the oil rich state.
Source: Naija News