The Ogun State Ministry of Youth and Sports declined the Peoples Democratic Party’s request to use the MKO Abiola International Stadium for the rally of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Prior to the demonstration scheduled for January 19th, the PDP had requested this in writing to the state commissioner for youth and sports on January 3, 2023.
The PDP remembered how an earlier request for the use of the stadium was denied by the state government in the letter signed by the state secretary, Sunday Solarin.
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 modest request has been tacitly denied up to this point by being postponed. While we’d want to put this unjustified denial behind us, we want to adamantly emphasize that the utilization of public resources should always be for the benefit of all citizens, regardless of political 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.
The stadium was undergoing extensive renovations, according to Director of Administration and Supplies for the Permanent Secretary, I.A. Kuforiji.
“Further to your letter of January 3, 2023, in respect to the foregoing issue, I have the direction to advise you that the MKO Abiola International Stadium is undertaking a significant restoration of the spectator seats and other key locations inside the grounds,” the letter stated.
“As we all know, high profile members of society are anticipated to come, and the facility is not yet in a good enough state to host events until it is finished and usable.
For the aforementioned reason, the ministry is unable to grant your request in this regard.
The letter was received after news broke that the same stadium on Sunday played host to a football game for the Iseya Cup Competition.