Lagos National Stadium ‘clean up’ 75 percent completed, says Nesiama
The Ministerial Implementation Committee on ‘restoration’ of Lagos National Stadium says the demolition of ‘illegal structures’ within the complex is 75 per cent completed. The exercise, which is aimed at returning the stadium to its original design, began last week, and is expected to last for eight weeks.
Already, several structures, including the O’jez Bar and Old Skool joint, have been marked for demolition.
The National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, last hosted a major event in 2004, and since then, has been abandoned with virtually all aspects of the complex in dire need of rehabilitation.
The co-chairman of the Ministerial Committee on ‘Restoration’ of the Lagos National Stadium, former Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Retired Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, told The Guardian yesterday that the demolition was halted to allow shop owners move out their property.
“We just slowed down to allow those moving out to get their property out safely,” Nesiama said. “The final stage of the demolition will take place this week. By Thursday, the bulldozers will move in finally to roll over all illegal structures, and thereafter, we will begin cleaning of the rubbles.”
Nesiama commended shop owners affected in the exercise for their understanding. “I commend them for their understanding, and for heeding to our advice. Their interest is no doubt being factored into the future scheme of things. In the long run, everyone will be better for it.”
When The Guardian visited the stadium complex in Surulere yesterday, some shop owners were seen moving out their wares. “This demolition is a big punishment to me,” one of the shop owners, Mufi, said, while using his right hand to wipe tears away. “I don’t even have a good place for my property. But I have to take some important ones to my house inside Surulere to avoid being crushed by the bulldozers. The stadium is a Federal Government property, and there is no way we can argue with them.”
Recall that a 21-day eviction notice was given to ‘illegal occupants’ to vacate the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos by the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development.
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