That the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on Monday sealed off state-owned Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere was shocking and more worrisome when the news broke that the action was necessitated as leadership crisis that rocked The Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) brewed.
Since Monday morning a detachment of policemen and other security officials were stationed at the entrance of the stadium, preventing people from gaining entrance into the facility.
The Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) had been engulfed in crisis following an April 23 circular signed by Adeniran Odeyemi, Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, directing heads of government agencies to hand over by May 10.
However, LSSC Chairman, Dr Kwekwu Tandoh and the Director General, Babatunde Bank-Anthony, had claimed that the Commission was not affected by the circular.
But the workers union and athletes had earlier threatened to shut down the commission if Tandoh and Bank-Anthony showed up in office after their May 10 hand over date.
A portion of the circular read; “Members of Statutory Board, Chief Executive Officers of Parastatals, Oganisations and Governing Council, whose tenure have not lapsed are not affected by this directive.
“For avoidance of doubt, the Statutory Board under reference above are; Civil service Commission, Judiciary Service commission, Independent Electoral Commission, House of Assembly Service Commission, Audit Service Commission,Teaching Service Commission, Local Government Service Commission, Primary Health Care Board and Lagos State Pension Commission.”
Some of the sportsmen using the facility as training ground were also turned back at the gate by the security operatives, citing orders from the state secretariat.
“We were told that the security officials were posted from Alausa to prevent a breakdown of law and order. The state government got wind that some staff and athletes wanted to stage a protest in the stadium.
“I believe government cannot act in isolation, so in order to make the stadium safe, the government needed to act.
“Though this is the first time we are experiencing such occurrence,” said an athlete who pleaded anonymity.
LSSC Spokesperson, Titi Oshodi, was not available to comment on the development as calls to her phone were not answered.
It would be recalled that coaches and disabled athletes had staged a protest on May 8 calling for removal of Tandoh and Bank-Anthony.
The protesters complained about the lack of grassroots development and non-payment of their salaries and allowances.
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