Asaba Grand Hotel Tennis Courts: A Death Trap In The Making (Photos)
When former President Olusegun Obasanjo commissioned the Grand Hotels, Asaba, Delta State in 2002, it was certainly a one-of-a-kind edifice in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.
Such was its beauty that the then President called it “a catalyst of economic and tourism growth in the Niger Delta and indeed the entire nation”.
The monument which was deemed the pride of the entire nation, is now sitting pretty on Nnebisi Road, Asaba, as a ticking time bomb waiting to explode, Nigeria Tennis Live reports.
During the recently concluded National Youth Games, the tennis events were all held inside the expansive hotel as it houses three standard tennis courts to host the tennis tournaments of the competition.
Not for once during the five-day competition did any player or official (openly) complain about the courts being substandard or ineligible for this kind of competition, however, there are signs that the sidelines of the courts may soon wreck havoc.
During one of the matches being played on the third court (the one closest to the river behind the hotel), supporters of the player on the court were very active in their support of the player and they were bouncing on the basement.
This basement, Nigeria Tennis Live observed, has a portion which has caved in already, and is now filled with dirt, whether deliberately or accidentally.
Our correspondent who was at the venue of the competition reports that the basement does not seem to have a solid base on which the plastering can fall on should it cave in, and this poses extreme danger to fans/spectators who may take to that part of the court during matches.
“Yes, I observed it too when I passed that area, that place is very dangerous and it can go down any moment from now if care is not taken,” one of the tennis officials who also confirmed the danger, told Nigeria Tennis Live.
While it seemed hidden from the general public, as not many may have seen the impending danger since it is being covered with dirt, it is pertinent that the attention of the hotel management is called to this time bomb waiting to explode.
Another tennis parent who also noticed the broken patch of the basement, noted that it can will definitely cave in if a lot more persons bounce on it.
“When I was looking at it, what came to my mind was that if all these people that are there keep bouncing up and down the basement, it can actually collapse.
“Thank God the people weren’t many on the basement, it could have resulted in something really tragic. I kept staring at it, though, and I couldn’t take my eyes off the place throughout,” the parent who pleaded anonymity offered.
If the management of the large edifice are not preparing to have the facility become a centre of attraction for the wrong reasons, since the demise of Chief Sunday Odogwu in 2018, they have to take action as soon as possible.