Members cry out over alleged plot to allocate portions of Ibori Golf Club to politicians
Alarmed by an alleged plot to balkanise and share portions of the Ibori Golf and Country Club, Asaba, to some politicians and influential individuals, members of the golfing community have called on Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, to step into the matter.
The golf course is one of the foremost recreational facilities in the Niger Delta. It was established over 30 years ago when Delta was carved out of the old Bendel State by the then Military government. It was, however, expanded and given a befitting economic advantage by the administration of former Governor James Ibori.
A recent visit to the course by top Delta State government functionaries, including Commissioner Lands and Survey, as well as chairman of the state’s Land Allocation Committee, alarmed members of the club, who earlier heard from the grapevine that some individuals had acquired portions of the facility for other uses.
A member of the club, who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian that the Ministry of Lands and Survey has sent a memo seeking approval to allocate a large section of the course to individuals in the state.
According to the source, “the club draws its members from across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory is one of the most functional and reliable golf courses in the Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole.
“We are appealing to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa not to yield to the pressure of approving the proposal because such action is barbaric and negates the image of the state as centre of sports tourism in the Niger Delta and the country generally.
“The club is recognised, especially, for its layout mapped by satellite, making it one of the few Nigerian courses that can be played using GPS.
“The economic impact of the golf course and its comparative advantage to the state with regards to carbon credit would be greatly eroded if allotted to individuals.”
The source accused some politicians of capitalising on their closeness to the government to acquire public property, adding, “it will amount to the destruction of the most acceptable recreational centre in Asaba.”