No fewer than five people were killed, scores unconscious, while others sustained serious injuries in a stampede at the entrance of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Saturday.
Thousands of football fans, who had thronged the stadium to watch the match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria in action against the Chipolopo of Zambia on Saturday, suddenly found themselves all at one gate.
A surge followed with the fans pushing and falling over one another.
The blood stain of those who died, and those who sustained serious injuries as well as those who were in coma, were seen everywhere around the gate of the stadium.
A journalist with The Punch newspaper was among the victims who were injured by the soldiers who were controlling the crowd.
Police and the Federal Road Safety Corps personnel were seen standing beside some unconscious fans.
Shoes of those who had fallen victims to security manhandling were seen in every section of the stadium.
Some of the fans who spoke with our correspondent said they escaped death narrowly.
One of them, Aniema Ekong, said that apart from the five people that were taken away in ambulance dead, she did not see any possibility for some fans who were in coma to survive.
She said, “I thank God that I’m alive. This is not the first time this incident has occurred. It’s been happening. In fact, in every major tournament, there is always a tale to tell of security agents injuring or killing people.
“To me, it seems as if this stadium is a blood-sucking demon. My experience today is different. Today’s experience is a near dead one. Let them be with their stadium. To me, watching matches here again, will be impossible.”
Another fan said his girlfriend had been severely injured by security personnel manning the gate.
According to him the security pushed the lady to the gate, where she hit her left shoulder and arms against the gate and fell flat on the ground.
He said the lady had been taken to a nearby hospital.
He said, “I don’t know why there is always trouble in this stadium (Godswill Akpabio International Stadium). Each time there is a match; there is always one problem or the other.
Many people were seen leaving the stadium thanking God for their lives.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Elkana Bala, could not be reached for confirmation as his phone lines were switched off.