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Authorities Quiet As Cows, Herdsmen Camp In Abuja Stadium

Fulani herdsmen have converted the National Stadium , Abuja , into a fertile land for cattle pasture as weeds overtake the package B section of the $360m facility .

When the place was visited the stadium on Tuesday, tall grasses were in almost every part of the complex.

Fresh and dried cow dung could be seen on the asphalt within the complex showing that the animals regularly graze on the grasses at the stadium .

The security officials manning the gate blamed the sports ministry for the deterioration in the condition of the stadium – and for giving the herdsmen unhindered access to the stadium , which hosted the 2003 All Africa Games won by Nigeria .

One of the security men, who spoke on condition of anonymity , said some of the ministry officials are happy that herdsmen have converted the busy stadium into a grazing field .

The source said , “ The herdsmen come into the stadium with their cattle almost every day. They come through the collapsed portion of the fence and we can’ t stop them because we are not armed .

“ The management are aware of the situation , but they have refused to do anything about it, meaning they are comfortable with it. ”

Another guard described the presence of the herdsmen and their cattle at the stadium as “ an embarrassment” , but noted that the security unit was helpless to stop them .

He said , “ We can’ t stop them because we are not armed , and they ( sports ministry ) have refused to engage policemen to beef up the security around the stadium .

“ Look at weeds everywhere on the premises and they have refused to engage someone to clear the weeds . Maybe the government is trying to save money by allowing the animals to graze on weeds. ”

The Director of Communications , Ministry of Sports, Mr . Tolu Makinde , could not be reached for comments as he did not respond to calls to his phone . He had yet to respond to an SMS as of the time of filing this report on Tuesday.

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