The Kano State government on Monday, February 4, 2019, ordered the immediate closure of the two major stadia in the state, barely six days to the proposed presidential campaign rally of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, gathered that the PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is expected to hold his rally at either Sani Abacha National Stadium or Kano Pillars stadium, Sabon Gari.
However, this newspaper gathered that the state government ordered the Kano State Sports Commission to immediately close the facility for renovation.
But, a source close to the state government told NAN that the shutdown was intended to frustrate the forthcoming campaign rally of the PDP candidate in the state.
According to the source who begged for his identity not to be revealed, the governor had received a confidential report that a lot of PDP supporters are being mobilised in their numbers from across the state.
He said: “There is every possibility that Atiku will pool more crowd than President Muhammadu Buhari did in the state during his campaign last week.
“People are already angry and tired of Ganduje.
“Also, the governor doesn’t want to send a bad signal to Abuja because the crowd will be massive.”
When contacted for comment, the spokesman of the sports commission, Abbati Sabo, said the directive was not intended to scuttle the campaign rally of the PDP presidential candidate.
He added that the renovation work was directed to have conducted ahead of the 2019-2020 Nigeria Premier League, NPL, season.
The spokesman explained that the government was advised to order for the renovation as the season had already commenced.
“As far as I am concerned, this directive doesn’t have a political undertone. The state government was advised to order for the renovation of the stadium ahead of the NPL season.
“The government had now heeded to the advice and ordered for 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,” he said.
It was also gathered that the proposed renovation work was billed to commence on February 4, 2019, and end on February 18, 2019.
The proposed general renovation works include the installation of the new score board, the running track and provision of sources for steady water supply to all parts of the stadium facility.