BSFA to Sports Commissioner: Make Aper Aku stadium ready for Lobi Stars, others in six weeks  

The leadership of Benue State Football Association (BSFA) has passionately appealed to the new Commissioner of Youth, Sports and Creativity, Rt. Hon. Ikyange Terkimbi, to be in the forefront of ensuring that the football pitch located inside Aper Aku stadium, Makurdi comes alive before the end of October, 2023.

BSFA Chairman, Barr. Paul Edeh, who spoke when he led the board of BSFA on a courtesy visit to the Commissioner in Makurdi, the state capital said aside the economic and other benefits, restoring the pitch will give Lobi Stars, the only Benue State-owned football club at the Nigeria Premier Football League, a place to prosecute their home matches.

Barr. Edeh described the idea of allowing the clubs play their home games elsewhere outside the state, as a setback.

He said, “The state stands to gain nothing if the Aper Aku stadium is not fixed. Apart from Lobi Stars, other teams (male and female) have no place to train and play their matches.”

While expressing the willingness of the current FA Board to work with the new Commissioner, Barr. Edeh, a seasoned football administrator said, “As you are very much aware, one of your greatest deliverables is football, as the man incharge of sports.

“As an association, we visited you to express our willingness to work with you and make the administration of Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia to succeed.”

Barr. Edeh who stressed that football structure which flows from the state FA up to FIFA, reeled out his board’s moves and achievements since it’s emergence in June, 2023, adding that already a grassroots football competition at all the 23 local government areas is on.

He reiterated that the tournament which will climax with BSFA Chairman’s Cup final in Gboko, will see the winners going home with N2 million, aside all the participating teams being kitted.

He then requested the commissioner to among other things facilitate the resursitation of annual Governor’s Cup before the end of 2023 as well as drive a private initiative that will lead good spirited individuals, including him (the Commissioner) to rehabilitate or lay good football pitches in their localities, just as the BSFA chairman revealed his efforts in doing same at his own area in the state.

Responding, Commissioner Terkimbi commended the FA Board for its laudable initiatives within a short time, and assured of government’s support always.

“I quite appreciate your pragmatic efforts towards resursitating football in Benue State… I will discuss with the governor to get the date for the Governor’s Cup as well as modalities to fix the Aper Aku stadium as soon as possible.

“We appeal for collaboration with BSFA, because one discovered talented player alone can turn around his fortunes, family, community and that of the state. As a government, we want to partner with the federal government, well interested individuals and groups to engender develop of sports, and we will do so with open mind.

“I can assure you that His excellency, the governor is in a haste to develop the state and will do all possible to get things working again,” he said.

The visiting FA executive board later presented and decorated the commissioner with the symbolic BSFA track suite, adorned in black and red colour with a blend of white.