The stadium has been abandoned for many years with no notable sporting activity taking place at the arena that once played host to international tournaments in the past. Presently, many of the facilities inside the stadium are in a state of collapse
Oke told our correspondent in Ibadan on Tuesday that the state government was working with the Development Agenda for Western Nigerian Commission to bring together the six South-West states with the view to taking over the management of the stadium and save it from total collapse.
He said although no proposal had been submitted to the Federal Government, a plan to do so was underway as soon as DAWN completed its work on the idea. He said Oyo State, being the home of the stadium, would have loved to go ahead and do it alone, but the present economic situation and other priorities of the state government meant that it was vital for the state to partner with other states in the South-West to make the stadium functional again.
“Considering the huge amount of work that needs to be done to make the stadium functional again, Oyo will not want to shoulder all the responsibilities. But it is important to protect the legacy of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the enduring image of the South-West,” the commissioner said.
“What we are doing is working with DAWN Commission in collaboration with other South-West states as part of the South-West Sports Restoration Agenda. In this way, it will not only be the responsibility of the state alone but that of the South-West states to bring back the glory of the stadium.
“Oyo State already has the Lekan Salami Stadium and it costs a fortune to maintain a stadium of that size. Obafemi Awolowo Stadium is in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital but it belongs to us all. DAWN Commission is already working hard to come up with a suitable way to go about it. The stadium is too important to be ignored,” Oke added.