Aba, Abia State – A war of words has erupted between Ferdinand Ekeoma, the Special Adviser to Governor Alex Otti on Media and Publicity, and Onyebuchi Ememanka, the former Chief Press Secretary to former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, over the deteriorating conditions of the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba, Abia State.
In a recent online article, Ekeoma showcased the dilapidated state of various sections of the Enyimba Stadium. However, Ememanka, in his response, dismissed allegations that the decay was a result of Ikpeazu’s administration, stating that the present government should take responsibility for maintaining and securing the stadium.
Ekeoma supported his claims by quoting Kanu Nwankwo, the Chairman of Enyimba, who revealed that players had not received 24 match bonuses and three months’ salaries. Nwankwo also alleged that players had been secretly sold by those in charge of the club, with the proceeds lining their own pockets.
“The Super Eagles legend was infuriated by the government agents who oversaw the decline of Enyimba, yet continued to attack and vilify him for seeking to reorganize and revitalize the club,” Ekeoma stated. He emphasized Nwankwo’s determination to build a strong foundation for Enyimba’s success, focusing on both trophies and long-term sustainability.
Ekeoma posed a thought-provoking question: “How can it be explained that Enyimba, a renowned club, was penniless before the Super Six they recently won? They had to resort to requesting funds from Dr. Alex Otti, even before he was sworn in as Governor. What would have become of the club without Otti’s financial support?”
Ekeoma also expressed concern over the dire state of the Abia Warriors Football Club in Umuahia. He praised Governor Otti for appointing Coach John Obuh as the Chairman of the team, hoping that this decision would lead to the club’s revival. Ekeoma called for solidarity and support for the chairmen of both clubs to address their respective challenges.
In response, Ememanka refuted the allegations and declared that Ikpeazu’s administration was not to blame for the decay of Enyimba Stadium. He criticized Ekeoma for sharing pictures of the dilapidated sections of the stadium on the internet and directly blaming the previous administration. Ememanka argued that it was the responsibility of the current administration to clean and secure the stadium.
Ememanka further accused the current administration of neglecting the recently built government house in Umuahia and the garment factory in Aba, allowing them to deteriorate. These allegations shed light on the broader issue of infrastructure decay under the present government’s watch.
As the debate intensifies, stakeholders and sports enthusiasts are expressing their concerns over the state of Abia’s sports facilities. The Enyimba International Stadium, once a symbol of pride and achievement, now represents a clear failure in maintaining and preserving crucial infrastructure.
Given the significance of Enyimba as a football club, it is imperative that immediate action be taken to salvage the situation. The Enyimba Stadium, a historical and cultural landmark, deserves to be restored to its former glory. Moreover, the Abia Warriors Football Club should not be left to deteriorate further, jeopardizing the dreams and aspirations of young footballers in the state.
This dispute has garnered significant attention not only in Abia State but across Nigeria. As a result, the government must prioritize the restoration and improvement of these facilities to ensure a bright future for sports development in the region.
With the upcoming election season, the condition of Enyimba International Stadium could become a decisive factor in the minds of voters. The politicians involved must heed the concerns of the public, who are demanding immediate actions to address the decay.
Ultimately, it is crucial for both former and current government officials to set aside their differences and collaborate in the best interest of Abia State. Only by working together can they restore the pride and reputation of Enyimba International Stadium and usher in a new era of success for Abia’s sporting communities.