My Lagos Diary: The junkyard called the National Stadium in Surulere

PictureHanging out with the Busy Buddies on Bond FM

My visit to Lagos basically for two things and one was to attend the Federation Cup final while the other was to make some appearances in Radio and television stations ahead of a big event in December.
Of course the big event is the Victor Ezeji testimonial but I digress.
The mess called the Sports City
As a teenager watching Nigerian football in the 80s the National Stadium in Surulere was also called Sports City.
From what I could see on television it was a massive complex that houses facilities for as many sporting events as could cross your mind.
But most of all the main bowl that previously used to sit eighty to one hundred thousand but reduced to forty thousand after it was turned into an all seater stadium was famous for hosting games by the football national team, the Green Eagles.
But the mess I saw on Friday made me sad, very sad.
Femi Adetula of Supersport had come to take me out for dinner and we chose to go to the national stadium.
I had watched live at the stadium the Super Eagles play at the national stadium at least twice and the Nigerian U23 team play their once but what I saw on Friday just goes to tell the rot in our sporting facilities.
Rather than see a stadium complex I saw a complex that had a dual purpose and not one of them had anything to do with sports.
I saw a very large car park. The stadium had been turned out to a large commercial Most people who have business at the Tesilim Balogun Stadium that was just down the road and around that area park their car inside the National Stadium Complex. And of course they pay an entry fee collected at the gate.
Second the National Stadium was just one big beer parlour and there were different “joints” scattered across the premises, loud music blaring from speakers and “runs girls” all over the place.
There was even a hotel inside the National Stadium premises that I never knew existed until today. Wow!
Was this the national stadium? What have they done to it? And every one was going about their business, ordering food, drinks and checking out girls.
Well, we ate our food and drank our drinks, didn’t chase any girls but the truth is that the National Stadium is a big mess
The Busy Bodies are really busy bodies
After Emeka Nwani and Aikhoje visited me on Saturday and took me out to Ikeja to meet with Victor Ezeji who had just arrived, I had one more stop to make on the day.
I had waited all day in my hotel room as Emeka called and said he was with Aikhoje, Dumnodi Okonta, Onyewuchi Nwachukwu and a host of others who were coming over.
I waited for what seemed like five hours and even after Emeka Nwani called to say they’ll be at my hotel in five minutes it took them another hour.
When they finally showed up I was shocked they were calling me from Surulere and not Onitsha.
Kelechi Nkoro of the Busy Bodies had ordered me to be on their three hour radio show.
Now the Busy Bodies is made up of Kelechi Nkoro, Okon Nya, Deji Faremi, Titus Bankole, James the referee and Fiona.
Crazy guys they all are and I enjoyed every bit of my time with them.
I however gained something on the show… knowledge.
The referee chap on the show, James aka Akpoo systems was somebody I had always wanted to meet.
When I first heard him called Sir Akpooo Systems on radio, I always wanted to meet him because back in the 80s and early 90s there was a national Division 4 club in Benue State known as Sir Akpoo Systems FC.
I really wanted to know if his alias had anything to do with the Football Club from almost thirty years ago or maybe he just picked the name from out of his head and it was simply serendipity.
After the show I asked him (James) if he knew any club called Sir Akpoo Systems and to my surprise he said yes and that the club was owned by his father.
Wow! What a small world. A couple of his friends on the Busy Bodies did not even have that detail.
We discussed Sir Akpoo systems for the next quarter of an hour and he explained the name and why the club went into extinction.
Great time out there.

0 thoughts on “My Lagos Diary: The junkyard called the National Stadium in Surulere

  1. Nigerian is the poor country and some people want to develop this country for the positive reason. You are doing this job because of the people and I would like to know more information about your activity. Overall, you are doing a good job.

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