Athletes, officials panic as National Stadium Lagos floodlight collapses


Tragedy was averted, yesterday morning, in Lagos, when one of the giant floodlights at the National Stadium collapsed.

The Guardian learnt that the giant floodlight located on the K Entrance of the stadium, close to the secretariat of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), came down following an early morning rain witnessed within the Lagos metropolis.

The incident triggered panic among athletes and other stadium users, though, there was no casualty.

About three weeks ago, The Guardian highlighted the pathetic situation at the National Stadium, with a cover story that triggered comments from concerned Nigerians from far and near.

The Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, thereafter came to Lagos to inspect the Stadium complex, and thereafter, addressed a press conference on some of the steps his ministry had taken to fix it.

Some athletes, who spoke with The Guardian, yesterday, after the collapse of the giant floodlight, expressed their concern over the government’s ‘slow approach’ to the rehabilitation of the edifice, which was once the best sporting facility in sub-Sahara Africa.

“It is a shame that the Federal Government allowed the National Stadium to rot away after hundreds of millions of naira spent on it,” one para athlete, who gave his name only as Adejumo, said.

An official of the National Stadium, who spoke with The Guardian, praised God for sparing the lives of athletes and other stadium users.

“I thank God that no casualty was recorded in this incident,” the official said.

Speaking through the Director, Press and Public Relations, Manga Mohammed, Dare said the ongoing repairs at the 51-year-old stadium do not cover floodlights and 16 other parts of the stadium that need urgent renovations after 19 years of neglect.

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