By Richard Thomas, Ibadan
The Oyo State House of Assembly has appealed to the Federal Government to allow the state government take over the renovation and management of Liberty Stadium in order to save it from total collapse.
The appeal followed a motion moved by two members of the state Assembly, Hon. Segun Ajanaku and Hon Fatai Adesina during the House plenary session in Ibadan.
Lamenting the poor and deplorable condition of the 25 thousand capacity stadium which used to be the pride of Nigeria after its opening in 1960, the legislators expressed concern over the neglect which the Liberty stadium had suffered for over some time now.
According to Hon. Ajanaku who represents Ibadan south West 2 and Hon Adesina who represents Ibadan South East 1 constituencies in the Assembly, the Federal Government need to consider the appeal in order to allow the state government take very drastic step in salvaging the deplorable condition of the stadium and return its lost glory.
In their motion titled, “Need To Renovate The Obafemi Awolowo Stadium For Improved Services”, the lawmakers recalled that in 1995 the stadium was taken over by the federal government for renovation for the proposed 1995 FIFA world Youth Championship, but the condition has deteriorated adding that a visit to the edifice which was once the glory of the country has become a shadow of it own.
“The structure had become greatly dilapidated while the facilities have fallen below standard. An assessment of the once superb main bowl of the stadium reveals rickety chairs with some fallen off, gaping holes in the ceiling, football pitch overgrown with weeds, unusable conveniences, walls with peeled paint, water and electricity supply to the stadium which used to be top priority now in shortage and with a generally unkempt environment”.
The legislators said the motion was presented by them in view of the problem facing the stadium and as a way of appealing to the federal to let the state government take over the renovation and effective management of the stadium.