Instead, the government approved the Uyo Township Stadium for the presidential campaign, which is scheduled to start on Friday December.
A statement issued through the
state Commissioner of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Monday Uko, said the
refusal became necessary in view of the Nigeria Premier Football League season
scheduled to begin on January 13, 2019 in Uyo.
It also claimed that the firm
handling the maintenance of the stadium, Julius Berger Plc, had closed for the
year and that it would be impossible to ‘regrass’ the stadium for the pre-fixed
The statement partly read,
“The Akwa Ibom State Government had received with gladness the notice of the
proposed visit of the His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, Muhammed Buhari, on December 28 to our dear state.
“Consequent to this proposed
visit, the Ministry of Youths and Sport is in receipt of the letter of
application dated 19th 2018 requesting the use of Godswill Akpabio
International stadium as the venue for the ceremony.
“Whereas we have sent a letter
dated 20th 2018 in response to the application addressed to Honourable Ini
Okopido, the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Akwa Ibom State, we are obliged, in the light of the
unfortunate attempts by political actors and commentators to pit Akwa Ibom
State against President Buhari and the presidency, to inform people of Akwa
Ibom and the entire public of the reason for our inability to approve the use
of the requested venue.
“As stated in our report, our
inability is hinged on two grounds: that the next season of the Nigeria Premier
Football league is scheduled to begin on January, 13th 2018. In view of this
and the fixtures of the home matches for Akwa United, it will be practically
impossible to regrass the stadium.”
It, however, said that the
alternative venue was in perfect condition for the event.
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