By Tony Ubani
Senator Magnus Ngei Abe has hailed the foresight of Gokana Local Government in becoming the first to build a stadium in the country. The amiable Lawmaker, during the commissioning of the 8,000 capacity stadium, poured plaudits on the Government of Hon. Rotimi Amaechi for his uncommon leadership in youth development.
“This is massive and I thank Gov Amaechi for his exemplary leadership. Today Gokana LG has scored a first by the opening of this stadium. Our youths, no doubt, will maximise the use of this place for a sound mind in a sound body and for more glories in sports for the nation”
The Gokana Stadium which was opened with fanfare has 8,000 seating capacity, Administrative blocks, a football pitch with tracks for athletics, two Lawn Tennis courts, two Basketball courts, an Olympic-size Swimming Pool and a massive Gymnastics Hall.
The Executive Chairman of Gokana LGA, Hon. Demua Ledee Demua paid tribute to the immediate past Chairman Chief Hon. Victor Tombari who initiated the project
Ex-Internationals Chief Segun Odegbami, Victor Ikpeba, Augustine Eguavoen who watched the home-based Super Eagles play a 1-1 draw with Gokana FC, a division 1 side in the amateur ranks praised the efforts of Hon Demua for the magnificent edifice. Chief Odegbami who represented NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, however, urged them to take care of the undulating turf to truly beat their chest and to also think of hosting international friendlies. Gov Amaechi who also praised the efforts of the LG however declined their request for a grant of N300 million. Hon Demua Ledee Demua said the grant would help them complete a 50-room Stadium Hotel.
Speaking at the end of the match, Chief coach of the Super Eagles Stephen Keshi praised the efforts of the LGA for the stadium. Also, President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Alhaji Saidu Abubakar urged clubs and other LGAs to borrow a leaf from Gokana Local Government.
“Imagine where all Local Governments in the country have this type of infrastructure, Nigeria will be the citadel of sports in Africa and a force to be reckoned with in the world”, the SWAN boss said.