By Eche Amos
As the clock ticks closer to the start of the 2023/24 Nigeria National League’s opener between Nasarawa United FC versus Zamfara United FC, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Dr. Emmanuel Agbadu Akabe, has paid a scheduled visit to ongoing renovation work at the Lafia City Stadium.
The Deputy Governor who inspected the stadium alongside the State’s Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Jafaru Ango, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Chief Barr. Isaac Danladi, and Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdullahi Sule on Youth and Students’ Affairs, Rt. Hon. Shuaibu Sani, on Thursday, was taken round areas where renovation works were ongoing, including the VIP and Popular Stands as well as the Perimeter Fence.
After assessing the level and quality of works done, Akabe told journalists that he was impressed with the Contracting firm and the pace of work.
“The Nigeria National League, NNL, will start on Saturday, this weekend, and the leadership of the NNL thought it wise to host the curtain raiser here in Lafia.
“We are delighted that this stadium has been selected for that purpose, and knowing that Engr. Abdullahi Sule is a sports-loving Governor who has put in everything to make sure that Nasarawa State comes top as far as sporting activities are concerned in Nigeria.
“Unfortunately, we lost our stay in the elite football league, but we see that as a temporary setback, because we are optimistic that we won’t stay in the lower division for too long. In one year, we should be back into where we rightly belong.
“We are certain about this because of the measures that have been taken in the Club.
“On Saturday, all eyes will be on Nasarawa State, and we shall be expecting dignitaries from all over the Country and probably outside the Country to watch the opening match.
“It’s only proper that we make our stadium look good enough to attract more matches here because we believe that the more matches we have here will not only improve the sporting consciousness of the people but also boost the economy of the place, as well as get us into the international limelight to woo investors to the State.
“The Governor had requested me to come and inspect the stadium to ascertain the level of works done so far, and I have just been taken round the facility, and I have spoken with the Contractor and he has given me all the assurances that he is going to finish within time.
“We are ensuring that we are on the same page with the Contractor, so I have directed the Commissioner for Youth and Sports and his Permanent Secretary to be on top of it to ensure we give this place the best it deserves.
“As for the quality of job carried out, I think I will be a bit biased because I have an idea of how the Contractor does his work because he was the same Contractor who handled the State House of Assembly’s project. He works round the clock to achieve the desired result, and this is practically what he is doing here.
“This facility facelift will continue even after the opening match because there other areas that need some touches, especially roofing the popular stands to protect supporters from the effects of the elements so that we can get something near to modern.”
The Deputy Governor called on indigenes of Nasarawa State and other supporters of Nasarawa United to turn out en masse to rally round the team to victory on Saturday.
“I promised to be with the team tomorrow(Friday) during their final training before the match on Saturday, and dish out some pep talks to them.
“I urge the entire supporters and fans of the Club to come out and support our darling team and ginger them because they need that morale boost, especially when they are playing on home soil.
“We wish our dear team all the best as they carry the hopes of over three million Nasarawa State indigenes on their bodies on Saturday.”
The Nasarawa United versus Zamfara United comes up on Saturday, 11th November, 2023, by 3pm at the Lafia City Stadium.