ENUGU-AHEAD of the on-going CAF Championship to be played between Nigeria’s representative, Enugu Rangers Intenational Football Club and the J.S Saoura of Algeria on Sunday, February 19, 2017, Enugu State Government may demolish illegal structures at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, venue of the match.
Commissioner for Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, Mr. Chidi Aroh who hinted that the illegal structures might be demolished, said that the illegal structures defaced the aesthetics of the Stadium and as such constituted an eyesore.
Aroh who conducted newsmen round the stadium to witness the illegal structures that tended to threaten the stadium to the extent that it could bring a collapse of the edifice, said that his Ministry had informed the owners of structures to desist from further construction and the demolish forthwith the existing structures , lamented that since November last year they marked the structures for removal, the owners have remained adamant, hence the need to have them demolished.
The Commissioner said that when CAF officials came for inspection of facilities at the Stadium last year ahead of the Championship, the state government had signed an undertaking that before the tournament, the illegal structures would have been removed and the Stadium put in the proper shape for the championship.
It could be recalled that NFF had threatened that unless the obsolete facilities at the Stadium were put in place, the CAF championship and even local matches may not be played at the Stadium, hence the Enugu State Government efforts to put the Stadium in order ahead of the continental meet.
The Commissioner who was conducted round the stadium by the Chairman of Enugu FA, Mr. Chidi Ejiofor Okenwa, pointed out that toilets and conveniences at the Stadium have been converted to shops and other business ventures other than the recreational facility for which it was meant for.
Aroh lamented that the worst part of the illegal structures at the Stadium is that people built lock up shops on top of sewage facilities at the Stadium, there forcing those using the Stadium to seek conveniences elsewhere. “This is one of the most important place I have brought you here today.
This is the greatest disaster because there are built on sewage. We had an undertaking with CAF that we’ll put the place in order before the championship,” Aroh said and lamented that the stores and shops were allocated to government officials few days before the present administration came to power and wondered why people sane enough should built in such places.
“The structures were allocated seven days before the present administration took over and they all have allocation letters. The Commissioner said that the demolition might take place in order to save lives and property at the Stadium because such structures might add load to the Stadium and bring about its collapse. He noted that though the cost of demolition might be much and cost government a fortune but that saving life far outweighs the money to be expended on the demolition in order to save life.
Aroh pointed out that Rangers was the darling team of not only Enugu people but the entire Igbo race and for this reason, they cannot afford to loose hosting the CAF Championship because of the handiwork of some undesirable element that trespassed where they should not.