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NSULU GAMES VILLAGE – A MONUMENT OF SHAME – BY UCHEKINGSLEY REMILAND

The multi-purpose Nsulu Games Village Umuala was established under the watch of the legendary sports administrator the late Chief Jerry Enyeazu and was established to promote sports in the old Imo State.

It was built as a training centre during the administration of Ukpabi Asika as the administrator of the East Central State during the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon.

It used to be a camping centre for Spatans Football Club of Owerri in the old Imo State.

But it is however pitiable that the apparent only asset in Nsulu clan in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State has been left to deteriorate over the years.

Following the creation of Abia State in 1991 by the regime of former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babaginda, it was taken over by the Enyimba International FC.

The camp which was built on a large expanse of land, also served as a camp for Abia State contingents to different national competitions.

It later served as the orientation camp for corps members of the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) before former Governor Orji Uzo Kalu used his office to transfer it to Umunna, a community in Bende, his Local Government of origin, since then, the facility has remained fallow and in great dilapidation until a few years ago when it was turned to a military outpost and this did in no way change the deplorable state of the once bubbling Nsulu Games Village that has the capacity to accommodate 13,000 athletes.

Interestingly, there were only two of such facilities in the country then: the Nsulu Games Village Umuala and another at Afuze, in the defunct Bendel State now Edo State.

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The Afuze Games Village came into existence during the regime of then military administration of Dr Samuel Ogbemudia. Unlike the Nsulu Games Village, the Afuze sports facility has since been upgraded to a stadium; the now famous Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

Unfortunately, no government in Abia state, past and present has considered it necessary to pay attention to the decaying infrastructures at the Nsulu Games Village.

A recent discovery has shown that this once vibrant sporting arena has now been occupied by the local communities who have turned it into a farming area of course, nature they say abhors vacuum.

There is no gainsaying that in recent times, it has been used for purposes other than what it was established. Though the soldiers who occupied it in the heat of the insecurity that once bedeviled it have vacated the arena, their acts of impudent extortion of motorists that ply the road and of course, their incessant harassments of locals and particularly sexual abuse of young women cannot easily be forgotten.

The games village is currently unoccupied, but no one knows what next it would be used for as there are already pervading fears that it could be turned to a cattle ranch for Fulani herdsmen as unknown faces have been observed surveying the area recently. Only time will prove these fears.

But the pertinent question to ask is whether the abandoned Nsulu Games Village is not big and good enough for such a developmental agent like a tertiary institution that should be known as the ‘Abia State University of Science and Technology or ..’?

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