GSM: "Audio" Promise Turns Real - By Samson Akindele - Penangle | News Portal in Nigeria
Tue. Jun 25th, 2024
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Adamasingba Stadium (also called Lekan Salami Stadium) is a multi-use stadium in Ibadan, Nigeria. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Shooting Stars FC.

Formerly occupied by Ibadan Race Course, the stadium was built on 130,000 square meters of land. Opened on the 28th of May, 1988, development plans for the complex began in 1976 during the administration of David Jẹ́mibẹ̀wọ́n. The military government of Jẹ́mibẹ̀wọ́n decided to build a recreational and sports complex. At inception, the complex included a football field, tennis courts, squash court and indoor sports hall. Since it was opened, the facilities have been poorly maintained.

The stadium was named Lekan Salami Stadium in 1998 in honour of Chief Lekan Salami  by the Oyo State Military Governor Hammed Usman.

Today, after several years of neglect by successive administration, Governor Seyi Makinde has changed the narrative. Immediately he was sworn in in 2019, he promised to turn the fortune of sports arena around. That he has just accomplished.

If you weren’t in that stadium during the ugly years of neglect and decay, it would be hard for you to understand why I’m personally celebrating this rare achievement.

Having covered many football matches at the stadium as a cub reporter, I can tell you what it means to be at a stadium without toilet facilities, without electricity and dark dressing rooms, a media tribune with no facilities but stench of accumulated urine practically waving at your nose, heat of the bakery making journalists to sweat like Christmas goats, elephant grasses taking over outer spaces, etc. The indoor sports hall where the state’s elite men basketball team, Oluyole Warriors, is another story; no illumination, tattered seats, poor ventilation, etc.

The best the administration of the Abiola Ajimobi did to mark its presence was to commission artificial turf on the football field under the supervision of the then Commissioner for Sports, Dapo Lam-Adesina. After that, the neglect was never abated. I shouldn’t forget to also mention other governors before Ajimobi. They didn’t do well too.

GSM met the rot and said enough was enough.

This is why I must be at the re-commissioning of the re-modelled stadium tonight to celebrate with GSM, sports men/women, sports writers, sports fans and Oyo state people. Indeed, this isn’t an audio achievement. It’s bogus and enough for everyone to see. It’s real.

If you’re an opposition politician or a supporter of the opposition figures in Oyo state, especially the APC, kindly desist from any attempt to whittle down or belittle this feat by this two-years-plus governor. He has just done what couldn’t be done in eight years and more by the immediate past administration and their predecessors. So, rather than looking for holes in this conceived and delivered project, please celebrate with this jinx breaker who has done a total turn around of this sports arena. You won’t lose anything by doing that.

If you’re privileged to be at the closed event, join me at Adamasingba tonight to enjoy good football to be played under flood light ambience. When was the last time you witnessed this in Ibadan?

As a sport writer, a sports man, a sports enthusiast and a resident of Ibadan, I congratulate GSM and every other person that made this happen.

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