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Mixed reactions trail unveiling of ‘water-logged’ N5.5bn Ibadan stadium

Reactions have trailed the commissioning of the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan by the Oyo State State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday.

Former Super Eagles players had played ex-Shooting Stars players in a friendly game before the current Shooting players defeated Slovenian club, NK Tabor Sezana 4-0 in another friendly.

While the game against the Slovenian club was on, there was a downpour, which caused the newly refurbished pitch to be water-logged.

Videos also surfaced online of part of the stadium’s roof leaking while the game was on.

The PUNCH reported August 2020 that the remodeling of the sports complex was awarded at a total cost of N5.5bn.

Many fans took to social media to berate the water-logged stadium.

“I think Seyi Makinde is the best governor in Nigeria but this stadium is so subpar if it was really a N5bn renovation project. Then again, how does water gushing (not droplets) through the roof of a N5bn not bother you? You’d rather accept mediocrity than being perceived partisan,” @jiklemz tweeted.

Olamilekan Gbolagade also said Shooting took advantage of the water-logged pitch to defeat the Slovenian side.

“Rain washed away Seyi Makinde N5.3bn stadium project in Ibadan. Shooting Stars club are using the advantage of the rain to beat the visiting club from Slovenia inside the rain and filled mud field,” he wrote on Twitter.

Another Twitter user, Tosin Adesina also called the “flooding” a disgrace.

“I am displeased with the TL conduct of some Governor Makinde supporters last night. As a great fan of GSM, such conducts was distasteful, crude and shameful. We must not become what we condemn APC members for. Seyi should be criticised. The flooding of that stadium was a disgrace,” he wrote.

Some other fans however countered those who berated Makinde over the poor condition of the newly renovated stadium.

According to @DolapoOsun1414 on Twitter, stadiums in Europe also get water-logged.

“You all acting like rain doesn’t affect football pitches in Europe too. Several games have been called off due to water-logged turfs despite the presence of drainage in the stadium. Seyi Makinde has done a great job with the remodeling of Lekan Salami stadium in Adamasingba,” he tweeted.

His view was re-echoed by another Twitter user @Samcleave_GZLA, who said, “Waterlogs happen in stadia across the world even in UCL games, however, there’s a way to minimise its effect, I was in the stadium yesterday.”

Meanwhile, Governor Makinde’s Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, in a statememt on Thursday, said the pitch was still a work in progress.

According to him, the automatic drainage system would only start working fully after three months.

“Besides, the pitch, as seen on Wednesday, is work in progress, because the contractor has not handed over the project to the state government. The contractor had explained that the pitch needed three more months to fully solidify so that the automatic drainage system would become fully functional.

“But the unveiling had to be done to ensure that our darling Shooting Stars Sports Club returned to Ibadan, having been forced to play their matches outside the state for so long due to absence of a good pitch in Ibadan.

“The contractor has given his assurance to address the challenges of the pitch and by the time the works are completed, Oyo State will definitely have the value for its money, which has always been the priority and intention of Governor Makinde,” part of Adisa’s statement read.

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