Taraba stakeholders decry deplorable state of Jolly Nyame Stadium
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Taraba stakeholders decry deplorable state of Jolly Nyame Stadium

One of the biggest hindrances to sports development in Taraba State is the near non-existent facility to unearth and hone the skills of its talented youths.

According to stakeholders in the state’s sports, the situation has been compounded by the deplorable condition of Jolly Nyame Stadium, Jalingo, which, hitherto, provided training facilities for the sportsmen and women.

Worried by the sad development, the stakeholders have urged incoming governor, Agbu Kefas, to chart a new course for sports in the state and avoid the mistakes of Governor Darius Ishaku, whom they accused of killing sports in the state.
The Guardian’s investigations showed that the 30, 000 capacity Jolly Nyame Stadium, which was once rated the best in the northeast region, has been taken over by anthills.
Apart from the anthills, domestic animals and reptiles have also turned the pitch and the entire environment into their home.The dressing rooms and a hotel located inside the stadium are also in deplorable condition.
Sports stakeholders in the state accused the outgoing government of neglecting the stadium, alleging that Ishaku ‘totally killed sports’ in Taraba. Speaking during the just concluded recognition award organised by the state’s chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), the stakeholders wondered why the outgoing governor chose to invest in programmes that are not beneficiary to the people.
Guest speaker at the event, Dr. David Cherima, said the numerous vices bedeviling the state would have been reduced to the barest minimum if Governor Ishaku’s administration had invested in youth and sports development.
Cherima advised the incoming governor to appoint a professional to manage sports in the state, saying that handing over the sector to a politician and non-professional would further exacerbate the situation.
Echoing Cherima’s plea to Kefas, some of the awardees accused the incumbent state government of relegating the sport sector to the background.
In his speech at the event, National SWAN President, Honour Sirawo, urged Kefas to change Taraba’s sports story, adding that the sector could help him to provide jobs for the state’s teeming youths.
Speaking through National SWAN’s Deputy President, Alhaji Abubakar Moyoyo, Sirawo said the first step to changing the situation is by rehabilitating the stadium.
He also advised the incoming governor to employ it as a tool to improve the image of the state, adding that it could only be achieved by appointing the right person as commissioner for sports.
Although the Commissioner of Sports, Alhaji Hassan Bappa, could not be reached for his reaction to the claims, a senior staff member of the sports ministry, who pleaded anonymity, admitted that the stadium is an eye sore.  He said: “Apart from the sports sector, all ministries, departments and agencies under this our present governor, have all collapsed.”

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