The ‘restoration’ of the Lagos National Stadium will last for eight weeks, a member of the Ministerial Implementation Committee has revealed.The exercise, which is aimed at returning the stadium to its original design, according to the official, will see several ‘illegal structures,’ including the O’jez Bar and Old Skool joint being pulled down.
The National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, last hosted a major event in 2004, and since then, has been abandoned with virtually all aspects of the complex in dire need of rehabilitation.
It was learnt yesterday that the 14-day eviction notice given to ‘illegal occupants’ to vacate the premises by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will end today.
An official of the Ministerial Implementation Committee told The Guardian yesterday that the demolition of all ‘illegal structures’ would commence later this afternoon.
“Only a few structures will remain at the end of the exercise,” the official said. “The O’jez bar, Old Skool joint and many other places will have to give way. We are not out to witch-hunt anybody.”
Meanwhile, the co-chairman of the Ministerial Committee on ‘Restoration’ of the Lagos National Stadium, former Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Retired Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, has commended shop owners, who obeyed the eviction notice by moving out of the stadium.
“We really commend those who obeyed the government order to vacate the stadium,” Nesiama told The Guardian yesterday. “I want to assure them that we have their interest at heart. We are working with the Lagos State government, and we are being professional in our approach. We want to make the National Stadium a befitting place for athletes, coaches, all Nigerians and visitors from other countries. We have to bring it back to its original symbol of national pride,” Nesiama stated