From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
There was tension at the Area 10 Garki, Old Parade Ground, Abuja on Monday, as footballers, athletes and youths vow to protest the destruction of the only functional playing ground by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) authorities.
The youths are angered by the decision of the (FCTA) to grant the Federal Government permission to turn the only operational football pitch in the nation’s capital to build agricultural storage pyramid.
Labourers have been seen removing the perimeter fence where the trucks loaded with the farm produce will pass through to dump the produce, while others contracted to offload the trucks have started arriving at the Old Parade Ground.
Also, in an effort to create space for heavy-duty trucks, FCTA also pulled down a major fence leading directly into the pitch.
Angered by the fact that the football ground is the centre of most sporting activities in FCT, including competitive league matches every weekend, the youths vowed to stop the entry of the trucks.
While the young athletes are still converging, few others were seen grudgingly training.
A few months ago, Ratels Sports Development Foundation (RSDF), owners of a Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL), Naija Ratels, spent millions of Naira to regrass the pitch.
The club is owned by a passionate football administrator Barr. Paul Edeh, who also rehabilitated the athletes’ dressing rooms lamented the development.
“It’s very unfortunate that I have wasted the money I don’t even have by renovating the Old Parade Ground football facilities to end youth restiveness in the FCT but look at what the government has done to my efforts. It’s very heartbreaking,” he lamented.