Two persons were feared dead and 20 others injured in a stampede at the entrance of the Akwa Ibom International Stadium in Uyo on Friday during its inauguration.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 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.
Bassey said: “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.”
He said that the third unconscious person, a woman, was revived in the stadium and had started talking.
Bassey added: 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.”
NAN reports that the security operatives at some checkpoints were using horse whips and tear gas to control the crowd.
(NAN report culled from TheEAGLEonline)