Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, says he will revisit the failed take over bid of National Stadium, Surulere by the state government, if elected.
Speaking during an interactive session with Sports Writers Association of Nigeria at its secretariat in National Stadium, Surulere on Wednesday, Sanwo-Olu decried the dilapidated state of the sports city.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Lagos State Government had in 2016 submitted an action plan to take over the National Stadium, Lagos from the Federal Government and transform it to a thriving sports city.
Built 45 years ago, the National Stadium in Lagos is now in a sorry state and national embarrassment due to neglect. It was last used for major competition in 2004.
The edifice had in its glorious days hosted major tournaments and international competitions such as the 2000 African Cup of Nations final, FIFA World Cup qualifying matches and also served as the main arena for the 1973 All-Africa Games.
Sanwo-Olu, at the interactive session, however, promised to revisit the take over bid with more vigour, adding that a state with a population of about 20 million people deserved such edifice for proper use.
He said: “I don’t know what is wrong with us in this country, why should a Director or Permanent Secretary that the President directed to look into the concession bid did not see the good in the project.
“A project meant for about 20 million people that live in Lagos was sat upon while the facility continued to rot. Lagos State, I understand, wrote the bids, pleading for the take over bid that will benefit its citizens and to put it into good use.
“I have discussed with the Chairman on the next line of action which is to intensify efforts, and maybe we will have to go through the legislative arm of government since we have the majority leader in the House of Representatives from the state.
“The Federal government should grant us access to the biggest sporting facility in the country which has been locked down and we will put it to use if we are elected, and I hope same situation will apply at the centre.”
Sanwo-Olu also pledged to build a mini Stadium in Ikorodu and Somolu axis if elected.