Commentary: Anambra City Stadium, Another Wonder Of The Obiano Administration

Commentary: Anambra City Stadium, Another Wonder Of The Obiano Administration

Another history is being made in Anambra as FIFA-rated Anambra City Stadium, another legacy project of Governor Willie Obiano, will be officially opened for use tomorrow. There is no doubt that the stadium will be of immense benefit to sports-loving ndi Anambra.

Already, some inaugural football matches have been fixed tomorrow to herald the official commissioning of the project. The matches are the finals of the under-17 academicals, both male and female, which are open, free of charge, to the people.

It would be recalled that one of the Obiano’s legacy projects, the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport, was commissioned last month and as today, is operational. Governor Obiano had assured that another of his legacy project, the thirteen thousand sitting capacity International Convention Centre, would be used for the swearing-in of his successor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo and his deputy, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim on March 17, 2021. What a promise fulfilled.

Ndi Anambra, it was something of an irony that for all her array of sporting talents, Anambra State did not have a standard sporting facility. From Emmanuel Ifeajuna, Nigeria’s first Commonwealth Gold Medalist; to Innocent Egbunike, the Olympic Bronze Medalist; Mary Onyali, two times Olympic Bronze Medalist; Francis Obikwelu, Olympic Silver Medalist and Uchenna Emedolu, Olympic Silver Medalist, Anambra has contributed quality athletes that brought honour to Nigeria.

And in football, Anambra’s Emmanuel Okala is Nigeria’s first winner of the African Footballer of the Year award. The state also parades legendary footballers like, Silvanus Okpala, Kenneth Boardman, Aloysius Atuegbu, Kenneth Ilodigwe, Arthur Egbuna, Chimezie Nwanaga, Louis Igwillo, Ifeanyi Onyedika, Amaechi Otti, Okwuchukwu Obiora, Charles Okonkwo, Ikechukwu Ofoje, Obinna Nsofor, Mikel Obi, Victor Anichebe as well as the ace Commentator, Ernest Okonkwo.

It is therefore something of regret that the state had no stadium of its own. What Anambra has are some privately owned stadia, including Neros Stadium, Rojenny Sports Stadium and Gabros International Stadium now rechristened Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium. However, the facilities are not located in the state capital, Awka. They are located at Nanka, Oba and Nnewi respectively. As a fast developing capital city, Awka needs modern facilities for leisure, sports, recreation, conferences, lifestyle and business.

Gladly, Governor Willie Obiano has now built, not just a stadium in Awka, but a FIFA-standard stadium, located in the heart of the city, meaning that international tournaments would, henceforth, be hosted in Awka. Few months ago, this glittering stadium within state of the art modern facilities, was a piece of abandoned land where daring herders grazed their cattle.

It is designed as a compact sporting facility with a covered stand, swanky dressing rooms, an electronic scoreboard, FIFA-standard pitch and Olympic-standard tartan tracks for sprinters. The facility can accommodate future expansion possibilities and still retain a large parking space.

And so, finally, Ndi Anambra, today, have access to modern sporting and recreational facilities that will boost their hopes for an improved lifestyle and reduce the pressure on Alex Ekwueme Square, which was not conceived as a facility for sports but has been converted to one by expediency.

The new Awka Stadium will further deepen development of football in the state. It will equally keep our youth busy positively because an idle mind is always a devil’s workshop.

Once again, Governor Willie Obiano has left an indelible footprint in an area where it matters a lot…Sports, just as he did in aviation industry by constructing a magnificent Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport. Work is equally at advanced stage at the International Conference Centre, Agu Awka. No wonder an analyst once said that Akpokuedike is South East best governor in history. Imagine giving Anambra all its first basic and social amenities and legacy projects in seven years.

It would be recalled that the governor had, ahead of the completion of the stadium complex, announced formation of men and women football teams for the state to be called ‘Anambra Bombers and Anambra Babes’ respectively to represent the state in national and international competitions.

Furthermore, Anambra had launched the Anambra Football Campaign, to canvass grassroots support for football advancement in the state. Meanwhile, the FIFA licensed contractor handling the construction of the Stadium says the stadium is the best mini stadium in sub-saharan Africa. Bravo Akpokuedike!

WRITTEN BY DR. NNAMDI NWADIOGBU

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