Illegal Occupants At Lagos Stadium Threatened To Kill Me – Dare
Sports minister Sunday Dare has revealed that his life was threatened by illegal occupants during a demolition exercise at the National Stadium, Lagos three years ago.
Speaking with journalists during an inspection of the 45,000 sitting capacity stadium, Dare stated that the ministry launched an effort to restore the national monument to its original state after it was abandoned by previous governments, but was confronted with resistance from illegal inhabitants.
“When I came in, I met a place that was abandoned, there were hundreds of people here (stadium) partying, they had more than 108 illegal stores, this place wasn’t looking like a stadium. It was a marketplace. We had the boldness to start a task force. We gave every occupant the opportunity to present documents to show that they were there legally,” Dare said.
“This is because we made a statement that we would return this place to its original architectural design, so we could even see what was here. Returning it to its architectural design is different from fixing it.
“After that, we brought down more than 98 illegal stores inside the stadium. I was attacked, there were protests and I was even threatened that if I showed up here (the stadium) I’d be shot.
“We had a retired naval officer who I told, ‘you got to do it’ and he told me not to worry. We brought bulldozers to this place, there were pictures and videos. If people forget, we don’t forget. We have the history of this place. We did this with limited resources.”
Dare, upon taking office in August 2019, launched the adopt-a-stadium campaign to rehabilitate the country’s ageing national stadiums.