Tragedy struck Friday during the inauguration of the Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo, as three people were confirmed death, while scores were injured during a stampede in a friendly football match between Nigeria and Ghan, according to an eye witness.
An eye witness account has it that due to the large number of spectators at entrance of the stadium, security operatives had to use tear gas to control the large crowd which led to the death of the affected people.
A source said some of those who sustained injury during the stampede were not attended to for several minutes by the medical team . One of the injured victims, Wisdom Amaowo, said he was pushed inside the gate by a security operative who also dispensed tear gas canisters on him. He said, “After the policeman dispensed the tear gas canisters on me, I became unconscious and did not know when I was moved to where you now see me. “Right now, I cannot bend; you can see many bruises and cut on my arms, legs and other parts of my body. “Since I have been brought here, there is no one from the medical section of the stadium that has come to my aid.”
The State Commissioner for Health, Emem-Abasi Bassey, confirmed the incident, but said nobody died. He stated that he was aware of the situation at the gate as many people, both those with tickets and those without the tickets were trying to gain entry into the gates. Bassey added that 150 medical personnel were on ground to attend to injured victims. “We have just revived a woman whose condition was terrible as a result of the stampede. We are completely in control of the situation,” he said. The commissioner, however, attributed the stampede to excitement as many people wanted to gain access to the stadium at all cost.