Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has told President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress that they can’t use the Godswill Akapbio International Stadium in Uyo for their rally.
Governor Emmanuel stated his position in a statement on Sunday by the Commissioner of Youths and Sports Development, Monday Uko.
He said the refusal became necessary in view of the Nigeria Premier football league season kicking off by January 13, 2018.
The statement also claimed that the Julius Berger firm handling the maintenance of the stadium had closed for the year and that it would be impossible to re-grass the stadium for the pre-fixed matches.
The statement said: “The government of Akwa Ibom state had received with gladness the notice of the proposed visit of the His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mohammed Buhari, on December 28 to our dear state.
“Consequent to this proposed visit the Ministry of Youths and Sport is in receipt of the letter of the application dated 19th 2018 requesting for the use of Godswill Akpabio International stadium as the venue for the reception of the ceremony.
“Whereas we have sent a letter dated 20th 2018 in response to the application addressed to Hon, Ini Okopido, the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Akwa Ibom State, we are obliged, in the light of the unfortunate attempts by political actors and commentators to pit Akwa Ibom State against the President Buhari and the presidency.
“May we inform Akwa Ibom people and the entire public as the reason for our inability to approve the use of the requested venue.
“As stated in our report our inability is hinged on two grounds, the next season of the Nigeria Premier Football league is scheduled to begin on January, 13th 2018. In view of this and the fixtures of the of home matches for Akwa United, it will be practically impossible to re-grass.”