The government of Kano state says Governor Abdullahi Ganduje ordered the immediate renovation of two major stadiums in the state to put them in shape for the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
Spokesman for the Kano State Sports Commission, Abbati Sabo, made this known while reacting to claims that Ganduje ordered the closure of the stadiums to disrupt the campaign rally of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the northwest state.
President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had last week used the Sani Abacha Stadium for his reelection campaign.
It was learned, according to a report by an online newspaper The Cable, that Atiku’s rally is scheduled for February 10 while the renovation is expected to end on 18 February.
What to renovate
Concise News understands that the proposed general renovation in the stadiums in the APC-controlled state reportedly included the installation of new scoreboard, the running track and provision of sources for steady water supply to all parts of the stadiums.
But a government official told the online newspaper that the shutdown of the Sani Abacha Stadium situated at Kofar Mata and Kano Pillars Stadium at Sabon Gari was intended to frustrate the campaign rally of the PDP.
However, Sabo denied the claim.
He said: “As far as I am concerned, this directive doesn’t have a political undertone. The state government was advised to renovate the stadium, ahead of the NPL season.”
“The government had now heeded to the advice and ordered for the commencement of the project in order to have smooth conduct of the league. As you can see, the facility is in need of repair and the government has now answered the call for its renovation.”
Impact of Kano on Nigeria’s general election
Kano is likely to play a major role in the outcome of this month’s presidential poll as, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec), the pyramid state has the second highest number of registered voters for the 2019 elections. More than five million people registered to vote in the state.
Buhari had emphatically defeated Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 elections in Kano with a margin of nearly two million votes.
This year’s Presidential election is scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 16, 2019, alongside National Assembly polls.
While the governorship election and State Houses of Assembly elections are scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2019.