Opinion: The FCT minister should stop protecting cows over residents

by Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello

Dear Alhaji Mohammed Bello,

I am writing you this letter with utter disgust and disappointment in the way your administration is handling the issues of herdsmen in the capital city of Nigeria especially with the recent residency of cows at the Area 10 Old Parade Ground.

As a football writer and aficionado, I think this is the worst treatment to ever be meted on the already deteriorating state of football in the FCT – capital city of Nigeria.

The Area 10 Old Parade Ground is the official local football field of the FCT, lovely and beautiful; a venue that has produced football and basketball stars. Sir, the place has now become a tussle between cows and humans, with cows dragging it with players.

It is so sad to learn that your administration ordered the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) staff to keep cows on the field where humans play football, basketball and more importantly, para-soccer stars who have no other such field suitable for them to play football – how you want the para-soccer athletes to manage when cows are treading over them is beyond me and other sports enthusiast.

The cows as I write this letter enjoy more security than residents as we can see security personnel protecting the arrested cows. Supreme FC and FC City Strikers can no longer use the official football field in peace of mind; this will undoubtedly affect their overall performance. Not to mention the destruction that will be caused to grasses, and conversely the field of play as they feed and trample on them.

It is a shame to the FCT administration and the entire nation that a football field is now a base for cows to stay. Please find the attached picture, as I write this letter, players can no longer play football with ease. The place smell of cow dung, some angry cows can be seen sometimes running and chasing people around the field.

My request is this, please Sir, relocate the cows, remove them from the football field, there are numerous land areas in the FCT that can easily fit the cows. I hope you can look into this shameful issue promptly.

Thank you.

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