By Our Correspondent
The Chairman of the Cross River State Sports Commission, Hon. Orok Otu Duke has dismissed claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the state government has denied it the use of the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar for its rally.
Duke said it is a case of the stadium not being available for use for any event due to ongoing evaluation of its facilities by the Hon. Minister for Sports and all stakeholders of sports to determine the readiness of the state to host the National Sports Festival.
The Sports Commission boss in a letter dated 12th February, 2016 to the state secretary of APC, Bishop Victor Ebong explained that the planned APC rally coincided with the inspection of the facility, which had long been fixed as part of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the National Council of Sports currently holding in Calabar.
According to the letter, the inspection of the facility is to be led by the Minister of Sports who is an APC member.
Others who make up the technical committee for the inspection, and who arrived Calabar a day earlier are Commissioners of Sports, Directors of Sports, Permanent Secretaries and Chairmen of Sports Commissions from the 36 states of the federation.
The letter read in parts: “the Cross River State Government has not refused your party and any other person or groups, the use of the U.J. Esuene Stadium.
“The reason being that the Hon. Minister of Sports and all stakeholders of sports (Commissioners of Sports, Directors of Sports, Permanent Secretaries and Chairmen of Sports Commissions in the 36 states of the federation and FCT) are in Calabar for a technical meeting aimed at determining the level of preparedness and readiness of our state to host the 19th National Sports Festival.
“The technical committee will embark on facility tour, to inspect and approve all facilities billed for the hosting of the festival, on Saturday 13th February, of which the stadium is inclusive.”
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