Good morning everyone,
Away from the Aigbogun vs Ikhana and what could have been vs what couldn’t have been, we can firmly focus our attention on what we currently have and how to improve our lot. Come to think of it, there’s this adage about crying and spilled milk. Its ideal to stay with what we have and seek for ways to make progress before things get out of hand.
One of such things we have that requires attention is our dear ol Enyimba Stadium. I visited the place a couple of days ago and despite the urge to get pictures to share all over social media, I let common sense previal. Common sense in that, it’s safer to just leave the talks at ‘the turf is yet to be completed’ than to share pictures of the current state of the facility.
The work was supposed to be completed in 90 days but the 90 has lingered and extended and stretched to it’s very limits. We are looking at ending the season without having to kick a football in our stadium. Basically the League has just a couple of games left, and it would be a miracle, maybe not the Jesus-turning-water-into-wine sort of Miracle but something quite in that range.
I studied Civil Engineering (yea right Uniport class of 2000) and I was accompanied by my friend who as an architect was part of the work at the Warri Township Stadium. (OK, hold on, we know the Warri Stadium is at best a swimming pool when the Warri daily rains descend on a match day). I’m just saying that this is some guy who at least understands the processes involved with laying the artificial turf. We shared some thoughts.
The actual job itself although it has been slowed down by a lack of funds has been expertly done so far. The drainage which is the most important part has been achieved. The surface of the turf, although it currently is concrete, has also been finished. What is left basically, according to my friend is the laying of the artificial surface itself which he says shouldn’t be more than a week’s job.
Unless of course the material has not been purchased and shipped into the country. Perhaps and obviously of course the contractor is probably owed some money from the previous tasks done on the site. In my sparse knowledge of contracts, I think they are sometimes paid instalmentally based on agreed benchmarks. Like, we’d give you 30million when you finish the foundation and 30 million when you get to the lintel- (OK I’m talking a building structure right now)! But it’s basically that with contracts.
That of course means that the ball is in the 18 yard box of the ‘owner’ of Enyimba International, that’s the Abia State Government. The zest with which the work was started has waned and that of course is not dissimilar to the other construction tasks littered all over the state. Truth the told, previous administrations did their best to make a mess of the state.
And the new man (new man? He’s been the governor for over a year) has seen the early days of his tenure marred by Election tribunal cases that let’s be honest is capable of distracting anyone. Imagine waking up daily to the reality that you may even not go to bed as the governor of the State. I don’t think these court cases have helped both him and the myriads of projects facing him.
Well, yesterday, the latest of such cases was decided and he was allowed to continue his mandate as the governor of the State and before someone else drags him to court, we here on the blog ask, now that you have won again, can you reshuffle your pack of projects and have the Enyimba stadium project top of the pile? We have endured life outside our sanctuary all season.
Beyond just the turf that needs to be fixed, there are the surroundings around the stadium which really needs some serious facelifting and renovations. I don’t envy the players who live in the camp one bit because the quality of mosquitoes breeding in those surroundings can actually amputate someone’s legs. I think we all need to see Enyimba as more than just a football club we support, we should treat and tend for the Enyimba property as a private facility that needs to be well tended for.
We cannot allow the club to lose its glory on our watch, everyone has to play his part in ensuring that this club remains in its rightful position as Nigeria’s Biggest Football Club.
Thats all for today.