Qatar 2022 fallout: Minister Inaugurates panel over Abuja Stadium vandalization

The Federal Government yesterday inaugurated an investigative committee to unravel the circumstances leading to the vandalization of the Moshood Abiola Stadium and recommend measures to forestall recurrence.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare while inaugurating the committee led by DIG Sanni Mohammed (Retd) noted that while the failure of Nigeria to qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup is not only regrettable but also left millions of football loving Nigerians unhappy and angry, making them to ask for changes, it is not enough to condone the acts of vandalism and destruction of public infrastructure like the Moshood Abiola Stadium, built with tax payers money and the benevolence of private individuals.

“The Federal Government will not sit by and allow individuals, no matter their ages to just wilfully damage and destroy Federal Government Infrastructure especially a public infrastructure like the Moshood Abiola National Stadium. Therefore, this afternoon, I want to inaugurate this committee on the acts of vandalism and destruction of the Stadium. This committee will have two weeks to conclude its assignment and submit its report.

“It is an investigative committee and they will be given necessary access to the stadium, they will be provided with the CCTV footage, they will have access to every relevant person connected with the football match and also the Ministry, Nigeria Football Federation(NFF)and other relevant agencies,” the Minister added.

The terms of reference of the Committee include unravelling the remote and immediate causes of the incident; determine the extent of the destruction; investigate the security arrangement and the role of security generally; identify the culprits; identify victims where we have them; make recommendations on how to prevent future occurrence, not just for the Moshood Abiola Stadium but all stadia across the country in terms of crowd control after the games, amongst others.

In his response, the Chairman of the Committee, DIG Mohammed(Retd)thanked the Minister for finding members of the committee worthy of the national assignment, promising they will discharge their responsibilities without fear or favour, and assist the nation to prevent a recurrence of the unfortunate incident.

Other members of the investigative committee are Dr Henry Nzekwu(vice chairman), Commodore Omatseye Nesiama(Retd), Alhaji Abba Yola, Dr Simon Ebhojiaye, Mrs Tayo Oreweme, Mr Mitchell Obi, a representative of the Director General of the Department of State Security(DSS) and Mr Olumide Bamiduro, who will be the secretary.

The committee has two weeks to turn in their report.

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