Beyond Naming Abuja National Stadium After MKO Abiola

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By Taofeek Lawal

President Muhammadu Buhari has done well by renaming the National Stadium Abuja; MKO Abiola Stadium. The President has through his actions shown and demonstrated that he reckoned with the unquantifiable contributions of Abiola (the first and last African Pillar of Sports) to the democracy that Nigeria enjoys today.

Abiola during his lifetime was a generous man who extended his wealth to all. He was a man of finesse, perfection who never settled for the second best. If this truly defines who MKO Abiola was, the stadium named after him should be upgraded, renovated and refurbished to a world standard.

The state of the stadium is nothing to write home about. The main bowl is in a state of disrepair, the press gallery, VIP box, the conveniences are in shambles. The security situation is at its lowest ebb as every Tom, Dick and Harry has unlimited access to the stadium. Sporting activities are not easy to come by but for the Velodrome which has become a beehive of activities recently.
The incoming Sports minister will have his/her full. He/she will have a lot to do by fixing all derelict sports facilities across the country. The 60,000 capacity MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja built with $60 billion taxpayers’ money must synchronize with Abiola’s standard. The stadium should not only be renovated but maintained properly to conform to standard global practices.

Buhari; No more excuses

I want to congratulate President Buhari on his second term tenure which commenced on May 29. The President has promised to improve on his first term performance (which to Nigerians is average) the reason he came up with the slogan ‘Next Level’ during the campaign. The President complained bitterly how the last (8th) National Assembly (NASS) under the leadership of Senator Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara frustrated his moves to better the lives of Nigerians. With the inauguration of the new Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila on June 11 as NASS leaders, Nigerians want to see the real dividends of democracy from Buhari. With the preferred candidates of the President at the helm of affairs at NASS, Nigerians expect accelerated economic recovery, assemblage of eggheads as members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC). The promise by the president to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty during his June 12 speech should not be rhetoric but rather an action that should have short-term, mid-term and long term positive effects on all Nigerians. Nigerians expect President Buhari to take decisive actions on banditry, kidnapping, healthcare, education, road and power and everything will fall into places.

Awoniyi: A quintessential Nigerian

He is young but he is matured and highly focused.

Awoniyi is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Royal Excel Mouscron on loan from English Premier League club Liverpool. He has been compared to the legendary Rashidi Yekini because of his style of play. I listened to the young man of Nigeria Info FM with my good friend, Bunmi Blair (the only Sports Prime Minister) and I cannot but marvelled at the wisdom imbued in him. Awoniyi commented on a lot of issues but what really got me was the way he was praising his contemporaries in the Super Eagles who are preparing for the AFCON to be hosted by Egypt.
He believes his time will come in the senior national team. He is also on the verge of making history as the only player to have represented Nigeria at the U-15, U-17, U-20 and U-23. Awoniyi, I want to let you know that the grace of God is sufficient for you as I look forward to see you in the Super Eagles very soon.
Bunmi Blair, you have done well.

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