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POOR STATE OF FCT SPORTING FACILITIES: Special Appeal To BARRISTER NYESOM WIKE ( Minister Federal Capital Territory

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The Honourable Sir, this Special Appeal  has become imperative because of the  present state of sporting infractures in the Federal Capital Territory, which has gotten to a stage that the attention of the Honourable Minister, should be called to it,  to declare a STATE OF EMERGENCY on it.

Honourable Minister Sir, It would be an erroneous impression that the Federal Capital Territory has Sports facilities. We don’t have any in Abuja,  because the MKO Abiola National Stadium is our National Sports monument.

Sports facilities that are owned, managed and controlled by the FCTA are really not beffiting the Federal Capital Territory, what FCT has as its Sports facilities are the FCT Sports Centre at Area 10 popularly called Old Parade Ground , the uncompleted Area 3 Sports Centre with only one football pitch which serves as the main hub of football activities in FCT.

Six uncompleted Stadia spread across the Six Area Councils in FCT.

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There is therefore the need to declare an EMERGENCY in the provision of Sports facilities in FCT.

The Area 10 & Area 3 pitches host the League matches of over 30 football clubs in the Capital City. Area 10 playing ground was converted to such after the construction of the Eagles Square for National parades and activities. The ground is managed by the FCT Social Department.

The Area 3 astro turf playing pitch remains a legacy from hosting the 2009 U-17 World cup.

The beehives of activities at these two pitches are unprecedented, showing that the growing population in the capital city needs recreational facilities that will keep them fit physically and mentally. But, the facilities are not there.

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For the avoidance of doubt, it would interest the Honourable Minister of FCT to know that the capital city has as much as six clubs playing in the Nigeria National League,  and over twenty clubs in the Nigerian Nation Wide League Division One, and double that number in the Division Two of that League. At the state League level more than 70 clubs participate in the two divisions league yearly. These are minus the various local council leagues that are played at the six Area Councils. All these teams depend on only the two facilities that are provided at the Area 10 and Area 3 pitches. The facility are inadequate and poor maintained.

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It may interest the Honourable Minister to know that the World over, that it is only Nigeria that her Capital city does not have a Premier League Football club. This is not for want of talents, neither is it there are no  passionate individuals that can make it happen, but lack of spɔrting infrastructures that can host such activities. The 6 Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory are worst hit. None of the Area councils can boast of an edifice that can pass as a sport Centre in all the Area Councils. What we have are abandonded facilities which have now become the dwelling places for criminals and miscreants. Rodents and reptiles are comfortable occupying places in these facilities. It would not be out of place for the Minister to make further inquiries on why the facilities are still lying fallow years after we heard that the payments have been made in full. Our Action Minister can ask questions on why these facilities have been abandoned and certain persons called to give reports of their stewardship while in the office.

The most agonising aspect of them all is ways that the Area10 parade ground pitch is made available for grazing and various religious activities. These causes more harm to the facilities. Cow grazings can be done in other places, and not on the only existing playing pitch, where clubs spend millions of naira to maintain, to enable them get approval from the various league bodies to play in their leagues.

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The Honourable Minister can spare time out of his tight schedule to visit some of these facilities in the main city and the Area councils to enable him have first hand information on them.

Developing these facilities will be of immense advantage to the FCT now, considering  the security worries in the City.   Because, if the youths are engaged, the residents of city can sleep with their eyes closed.

(PATRICK NGWAOGU (ODOGWU) was the former First Vice Chairman of FCT Football Association and Former Secretary of The FCT Coaches Association)

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