The Oyo State government has said the Bodija central mosque and the church beside it will not be affected by its plan to create a recreational centre in the area.
The government said part of the land which was originally approved for a recreation centre was used to build a mosque and a church.
It said it plans to transform the remaining 11,435.711-square-metre open field into the purpose it was originally meant for in the state’s masterplan.
“The proposed facility, which is under construction, shall have a FIFA-standard football pitch, tennis court, swimming pools, children’s play areas, water slide, water world, food court and other recreational facilities befitting of a prestigious Estate like Bodija,” the government said.
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Taiwo Adisa, said this in a statement amid a claim by an Islamic group that the state was taking over the Eid ground in Bodija.
Adisa said, “The Bodija Recreation Centre is an open field located Beside Housing Roundabout, in the heart of Bodija Estate, Ibadan, which has been used over the years as a sports and recreational facility by the residents of the estate.
“The field, measuring 11,435.711 square metres, was approved as a football field and tennis court by Oyo State Housing Corporation in the master plan of the estate, and has been used for sporting and recreational activities for many years.
“The Oyo State government, in the drive, vision and mission to develop the facility into a modern recreational edifice, placed advertisements in major newspapers on August 27, 2019, to attract able, viable, tested and qualified investors and/or developers for public-private partnership in the attainment of its vision for the benefit of the teeming populace of the State.
“The goal of the government is to utilize the Build, Operate and Transfer modality in partnership with Messrs Reform Construction Limited, one of the foremost sports facility companies in Nigeria for the design, construction, commissioning and management of Bodija Recreation Ground into a modern, self-sustaining, multi-purpose sports and recreational centre.
“By the Public-Private arrangement, Bodija Recreation Centre is to become one of the foremost sports and recreation centres in the entire Ibadan city with a project cost well above N500 Million.
“The sport-loving administration of His Excellency, Engineer Seyi Makinde, in Oyo State, is not only delivering a remodelled Lekan Salami in Adamasingba, but also mini stadia in various locations across the State such as Ibadan, Oyo, Eruwa, Ibadan, Saki, Ogbomoso and Iseyin.
“It is pertinent to point out that the proposed development of the Recreation Centre doesn’t in any way affect Bodija Central Mosque and the Church beside it.
“The peace-loving people of Oyo State are enjoined to disregard every attempt to disrupt the fragile peace of our dear state.”