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Enyimba Stadium: Another Legacy by Ikpeazu

Enyimba Stadium: Another Legacy by Ikpeazu

Ebere Uzoukwa

The uncommon determination of Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu to fix and remodel Abia, the God's Own State, is fast yielding results. The uncommon governor has no doubt surmounted obstacles and dismantled clogs in the wheels of progress as he doggedly champions revolutionary programmes that are turning Abia to a modern-model state.

When the governor embarked on the reconstruction of Enyimba International Stadium, Aba, many especially the opposition doubted his sincerity of purpose. The opposition descended and criticized him without recourse to the social and economic gains associated with sports especially globally. Without relenting, Dr. Ikpeazu showed an exemplary commitment in his avowed bid to deliver a world class and internationally rated football stadium for Enyimba Football Club of Aba.

Prior to the novelty match and ceremony that heralded the official re-opening of the stadium a few days ago, the commissioner for Information in Abia State, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, in discharge of his duties, gave an insight to the stadium project after touring the facility with a team of sports journalists.

As reported by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the commissioner disclosed that the installation of the new turf cost the state government a whopping one million euros (about N450,000,000). The contract, according to him, was awarded to a Yenagoa-based Monimichelle Group.

Okiyi mentioned other components of the contract to include the construction of tartan tracks and re-roofing of the spectator stands, FIFA approved modeled goal posts and nets, 32 public toilets at the facility and four additional entrance/exit gates to bring the total number to 12.

“For the first time in the history of the stadium, public toilets are being provided for spectators. Before now, people usually littered the surroundings of the stadium with faeces, especially on match days", the commissioner said.

Recall that Enyimba FC also known as the People’s Elephant had relocated to the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar in 2016 for all their home matches in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and CAF competitions to give way for total reconstruction, remodeling and upgrading of the stadium by Dr. Ikpeazu-led administration.

Enyimba FC, the only Nigeria’s team left in the continental campaign this season received a major boost ahead of Wednesday's CAF Confederation Cup Group C decider against CARA Brazzaville of Congo following a meritorious approval after the recent inspection visit carried out by CAF officials. The People's Elephant won that crucial match to triumphantly announce their return to Aba stadium.

Before the crucial match, Enyimba Coach, Usman Abdallah, named as replacement following the sudden departure of Paul Aigbogun midway into their campaign reportedly showed enthusiasm of his boys progressing to the quarter-final.

“It is positive development for us because it would be better playing at our home ground in Aba, though it will be the first time for some of our new players in the team.

“We are not going to be under pressure against CARA especially after the important away victory against Djoliba last week. I’m optimistic of a positive result in Aba,” the former Kano Pillar gaffer enthused.

Beyond sports development, Abia State government under Dr. Ikpeazu has enlisted infrastructural transformation that cut across the 3 senatorial districts of the state to demonstrate his good intention to the good people of Abians.

Within the period under review, Dr. Ikpeazu has constructed and completed over 67 road projects. These include Kamalu Road, Ukaegbu Road, Umuola Road, Umuocham Road, Umule Road, Ommene Drive, Jubilee Road, Ehi Road, Hospital Road, Ube Street, Adazi Street, George’s Street, Echefu Road, ENUCRoad, St. Michael's Road, Azikiwe Road, Pound Road, Owerrinta Road, Weeks Road, Park Road, School Road, East Road and Okwunauka Road.

Others are Cameroun Road, Queens Road, Ehere Road, Umuojima Road, Umuojima-Owerrinta Road with Spur from Owerrinta to Umuocheala, Bata-Railway Crossing to Brass Junction, Ibadan Road, AharanduRoad, Onyebuchi Road, Umuehleigbu Road, Asphalt Overlay of dualized Aba Owerri Road, Ovom Road, Mosque Street, Umuatako Road, Asa Umuka-Ugwunagbo Obohia Junction Road, Owerri Road off Okigwe Road, Chima Nwafor Road and Mbawsi-Umuala Road in Isialangwa North LGA.

The governor has repeatedly promised with commitment to ensure that all ongoing road projects littered in Aba and other parts of the state are completed on record time.

This is as the governor's entrepreneurial agenda vis-a-vis the Made-in-Aba Campaign has gainfully unlocked and created several business opportunities for producers in Aba. About N3b direct orders and requisition to Aba that created additional employment and engagement of more than one million employees and apprentices in the over 300,000 markets around the state have lifted the economy of the state.

Dr. Ikpeazu has equally extended his Midas touch to Ariaria International Market as his government collaborates with the Federal Government to install an Independent Power Project financed by Rural Electrification Agency (REA). The Power Project has provided an uninterrupted power at the market to 2,000 shops on a pilot basis while another Power Station is constructed to capture another 34,000 shops.

He also pioneers Africa's first Institutional Tele-Health Support Initiative which expands healthcare delivery to rural areas thus enhancing the knowledge, attitude, practice and skills of the local healthcare workers.

With the few listed and other achievements to his credit, Dr. Ikpeazu has moved Abia, thge God's Own State, to the region of fast developing states in Nigeria.
Enyimba Stadium: Another Legacy by Ikpeazu Enyimba Stadium: Another Legacy by Ikpeazu Reviewed by Lawal Lekan Ridwan on September 01, 2018 Rating: 5

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