Ogun govt denies PDP stadium for Atiku’s rally, cites renovation


THE Ogun State government has stopped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from using the Moshood Abiola International Stadium in Abeokuta for its presidential campaign rally slated for Thursday, January 19.

The PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar is scheduled to campaign in Abeokuta on Thursday.

The party had requested to use the facility in a letter dated Tuesday, January 3 to the state’s ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

In the letter signed by the party’s secretary in the state, Sunday Solarin, the PDP recalled how an earlier request for the use of the stadium for its primaries in 2022 was not granted by the state government.

“It is pertinent to mention that the use of this state asset was sought in April 2022 vide a letter dated 5th April 2022 requesting for the use of the facility for the conduct of our party primary.

“Surprisingly, our humble request was kept in abeyance to date which translated to tactical denial. While we will like to put this unwarranted denial behind us, we wish to vehemently emphasise that the use of state assets should be to the benefit of the general citizenry irrespective of any leaning.

“We, therefore, once again formally write to seek the usage of this facility for the purpose, and on the date indicated above.”

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However, the state government in a letter dated January 10, 2023, through the Director, Administration and Supplies for Permanent Secretary, I.A Kuforiji, said the stadium could not be available for use due to ongoing renovation of the facility.

“Further to your letter of 3rd January 2023, in respect to the above subject, I have the directive to inform you that the MKO Abiola International Stadium is undergoing a major renovation of the spectators’ seats and other important areas within the premises.

“As we are all aware that people of high profile in the society are expected to be in attendance and the facility is not yet in good condition to accommodate events until it is completed and ready for use.

“In this regard, the ministry would not be able to accede to your request for the above-stated reason,” the letter said.

Denying political opponents from using public facilities for their campaigns contradict provisions of the national peace accord, which the state government, through the All Progressives Congress (APC), is a signatory to.

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