Youths want FG, LASG to reclaim Gowon Estate Sports Centre

The Youth Leader, Eghe Ogunbor, told NAN that the government and the community leaders were to be blame for the sale of the land.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ground where the youth engage in sports, including a football pitch, has been turned into a sprawling mini-housing estate by the grabbers.

The ground has also produced great footballers for the country, including Taiye Taiwo of the Super Eagles and Marseille FC of France fame. He is currently playing for Swiss club, Lausanne.

The land grabbers apportioned the land and were building residential mansions, while shopping malls had been completed and a factory still under construction also.

“I will blame the government and the community leaders because they were here when the field was taken from us."

“We tried our best as youths but we didn’t have their backing as some of them were against us."

“The community leaders, instead of working in tandem with us, induced some youths to create another faction just because of what they got from the sports centre sale."

“They succeeded in scattering our joint effort to retrieve the sports centre,’’ he said.

Ogunbor added that from the point the centre was hijacked, the youth took to vices.

“The centre before now was used by youths in the sprawling estate to train in various sports but since it was taken from us, the reverse is the case."

“Our youths are now drug addicts; you see them at various corners sniffing drugs."

“Some have joined cults because an idle mind, they say, is the devil’s workshop. Our youths have taken to internet fraud as their job, this was not so when we had our sports centre,’’ Ogunbor said.

He noted that some youths who promised to showcase the estate through sports have all relented since there was no centre for them to train.

“We have immeasurable talents in sports who promised to make the estate proud; this they can’t do because our centre used for training has being hijacked."

“You can hardly find youths in the estate with the zeal of projecting the estate through sport,’’ he lamented.

Some youths who spoke anonymously said that some of the community leaders were cajoled by the buyers.

“The people were scammed. It was alleged that the man who bought the sports centre promised to refurbish it but later, he is seen building houses."

“The youth can’t really voice out anything about it because a faction of them has been paid,’’ they said.

They alleged that the only option left for them to train was the Anglican Church Car Park along 1 Avenue, 12 Road but they were not allowed to train there.

“We have been harassed severally by the priest who said the ground is for car parking and not for football training."

“The priest came out one day when we were training and was challenged by the youth."

“Our young talents are not allowed to train there on week days,’’ he said.

Some residents said that the sports centre was once a haven for good events.

“Sports competitions were organised to engage youths but the reverse is the case now."

“Schools in the estate that use the centre for inter-house sports now go out of the estate to hold their events."

“Crusades held by churches there now hold outside the estate also but as we speak, we don’t have any of these again."

“This centre produced great footballers for the country like Taiye Taiwo who rose to fame from the pitch,’’ they said.


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