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Two Feared Dead, 20 Injured in Akwa Ibom Stadium Stampede


According to NAN, two persons were feared dead and 20
others injured in a stampede at the entrance of Akwa Ibom International Stadium
on Friday during its inauguration

The crowd control was a difficult
task in spite of the road blocks mounted some kilometres away from the stadium.

Although the spectators got tickets
to enable them access the 30, 000 capacity stadium, the crowd started thronging
the stadium about five hours ahead of the scheduled time for the match.

Confirming the incident, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emem Bassey,
told NAN that two
unconscious persons were taken to an undisclosed hospital.

“I was told that two persons have
been taken to the hospital; these are perhaps people who were fighting at the
gate in their bid to enter the stadium,” Dr. Bassey said.
He said that the third unconscious
person, a woman, was revived in the stadium and had started talking.
“It should be expected; this is the
first time this is happening, everybody is excited, everybody wants to enter
the stadium. We have 150 medical personnel in this place and eight ambulances.
All our medical teams are up and doing and all the clinics are manned,” Mr.
Bassey said.
NAN reports that the security
operatives at some check points were using horse whips and teargas to control
the crowd.

Contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Isaac Achong, however said, “there
was no stampede, there was only crowd control. We are only controlling the
crowd entering the stadium.”
When told that journalists at the stadium reported a stampede, he said, “I’m
not aware” and terminated the call.

An international friendly  between the home-based senior national team of
Nigeria, Super Eagles B, and the U-23 National Team of Ghana, the Black
Meteors, was fixed to mark the opening of the stadium.
“It is possible football fans were scrambling to enter the stadium to watch the
match. That’s what I heard,” an Uyo resident, who said he was on his way to the
facility, said.

The President of Ghana, John Mahama and the Ivorian Head of State, Alassane
Ouattara were all in Uyo to open the new edifice.

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