By Ikenna Nwokedi
The Chairman, Anambra State Sports Development Commission (ANSSDC), Mr Patrick Onyedum has expressed disappointment over the state of the Ekwulobia Township Stadium and proposed Ogidi Stadium complex.
Mr Onyedum on Tuesday, 13th December 2022, embarked on a tour of the sports facilities in company of ranking members of staff of the commission.
During the visit to Ekwulobia township stadium, which for years has served as the only sporting complex in Aguata LGA, the playing surface was mainly sandy with scattered grasses around its dimension.
There were abandoned mini-housing units which hitherto served as ticket points and security post in the complex. Also the only office block assigned to sports officers is inhabitable and in a state of disrepair with most sporting equipment and facilities stolen when some indigenes forcefully took over the initial three office blocks earmarked for sports officers.
The proposed Ogidi Stadium complex can no longer be regarded as a place earmarked for construction of sporting infrastructure as the site for many years now has been serving as a motor park for trailers, pits for petrol tankers, heavy duty trucks, earth moving machines and mechanic workshop for vehicles of all sorts.
The chairman disclosed that Ekwulobia township stadium is of interest to the government as the facility was created to serve Aguata Local Government and the entire Anambra South Senatorial zone.
The commission boss opined that adequate attention will be given to the facility to put it in very good shape for hosting of intra and inter states sporting programmes in the near future.
“The stadium in Aguata is already functional and fenced which for many years has served as the only sporting complex within the zone. What is lacking now is to erect spectator stands, cultivate grasses on areas that are sandy to restore the lush green surface of the pitch which will aid sporting events like football and other team events.
“We will also work on putting a standard tartan track for athletics event while also working on the points earmarked for handball and volleyball. The existing mini-house will also be given the necessary attention while the portion of the fence which is about to collapse will be reinforced,” he said.
On the proposed site for the Ogidi township stadium, the sports commission Chairman lamented it’s present state describing it as an eyesore and not fit to be regarded as a site for sporting complex.
“The proposed Ogidi township stadium is an eyesore as there are lot of encroachments on the site. There is no perimeter fencing and the place can no longer be described as a proposed sporting complex but a mechanic workshop. I will let Mr. Governor know our findings, from there we will know the next step as this is a government property,” Onyedum said.
He disclosed that the government wants to establish three functional and well equipped sports centres in three senatorial zones of the state. One at Otuocha for Anambra North, the site in Ekwulobia for Anambra South and the proposed Ogidi township stadium to represent the Anambra Central Senatorial zone.