Edo State, host of the 20th National Sports Festival starting March 22 have put measures in place to ensure safety of athletes, officials and spectators at the newly refurbished Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.
According to the Chief Electrical Engineer of the contracting firm handling the almost completed complex, Engr. Ben Tobrise, the CCTV and Video Assistant Referee (VAR) measures installed at the Ogbemudia Stadium are capable of fishing out any hooligan from the stands or anywhere around it.
“ Both the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) installed here (Ogbemudia Stadium) are capable of pinpointing any particular person or area inside and around the stadium complex. Anyone thinking of coming to the stadium to foment trouble will be fished out,” stressed the chief electrical engineer.
While demonstrating the working of the CCTV at the control room during an inspection of the complex, two workers busy with their jobs in the extreme end of the stadium were given close shots to the point that prints on their uniforms were clearly legible to be read by the operators.
“We have eight cameras installed at this stadium. All of them will be recording at the same time with our operators watching from the control room. We can do a playback to check any area of interest.
“Similarly, we are capable of seeing clearly any place or thing five kilometers radius of the stadium from here. With these measures, we can beat our chest to say that everyone coming to Ogbemudia Stadium during the National Sports Festival is assured of his or her safety,” he noted.
Interestingly, a police post has been built at the entrance to the stadium to handle cases of infractions at the complex.
Carpenters were busy with the roofing of the police post while other workers were putting finishing touches to the remaining minor jobs ahead of the opening ceremony to be done by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Already, most of the houses situated around the stadium complex are wearing new looks as residents look forward to receiving visitors to their neighborhood.
A restaurant operator close to the stadium who gave her name as Uwa, told reporters yesterday that she was looking forward to making good sales during the festival.
“We are waiting with high expectations for the festival to start. People will definitely come to restaurants around here to eat and drink. This is our time to reap the dividend of Edo State hosting the 20th National Sports Festival,” observed the restaurant owner.