THE request by the Peoples Democratic Party to make use of the MKO Abiola International Stadium for the rally of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has been turned down by the Ogun State government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The PDP had made the request in a letter to the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports on January 3, 2023, ahead of the rally slated for January 19.
In the letter signed by the state secretary, Sunday Solarin, the PDP recalled how an earlier request for the use of the stadium was not obliged by the state government.
The letter read in part, “It is pertinent to mention that the use of this state asset was sought in April 2022 vide a letter dated 5th April 2022 requesting for the use of the facility for the conduct of our party primary.
Surprisingly, our humble request was kept in abeyance to date which translated to tactical denial. While we will like to put this unwarranted denial behind us, we wish to vehemently emphasise that the use of state assets should be to the benefit of the general citizenry irrespective of any leaning.
“We, therefore, once again formally write to seek the usage of this facility for the purpose, and on the date indicated above.”
In response to the party’s latest request, the Ministry of Youths and Sports, in a letter dated January 10, 2023, said the stadium could not be available for use.
According to the Director, Administration and Supplies For Permanent Secretary, I.A Kuforiji, the stadium was undergoing a major renovation.
The letter read, “Further to your letter of 3rd January 2023, in respect to the above subject, I have the directive to inform you that the MKO Abiola International Stadium is undergoing a major renovation of the spectators’ seats and other important areas within the premises.
“As we are all aware that people of high profile in the society are expected to be in attendance and the facility is not yet in good condition to accommodate events until it is completed and ready for use.
“In this regard, the ministry would not be able to accede to your request for the above-stated reason.”
The letter comes amid a report that the same stadium hosted a football match in the Iseya Cup Competition on Sunday.