Tuesday, May 17

Playoff FallOut: Akinwunmi, Other Top Dignitaries Harrassed By Nigeria Security Personell

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Frankie Omokhua

The poor security architecture in Nigeria was again displayed on Tuesday during the World Cup playoff at the Moshood Abiola stadium in Abuja.

Sports Arena learnt that the security personnel drafted to coordinate and maintain peace at the gates or various entry points at the stadium harrassed, abused and maltreated renowned Nigerian sports administrators who were at the stadium to give support to the Super Eagles against Ghana.

Nigeria Football Federation’s 1st Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi was stopped from entry the stadium when he arrived before the kickoff of the match.

A source disclosed, “It was a bad day for Nigerian football as soccer fans witnessed the lackadaisical attitude displayed by security men drafted to handle activities at all the entry points at the stadium”.

“That was the height of the country’s poor security system and lack of training for security men. That was a complete failure and disgrace to the Nigerian nation”.

“How can a bigwig in Nigerian football in the person of the first Vice President of the NFF, Seyi Akinwunmi, be prevented from entry the stadium to watch the match? That was funny”.

“Akinwunmi, had every identification documents on him, like his official match tag etc, but, was still denied entry before leaving to watch the game in his hotel room”.

“That was senseless on the part of the so-called security operatives”, the source fumed.

Apart from Akinwunmi, other top personalities who were denied access to the stadium include, AIPS Africa President, Mitchel Obi, well known activist, Omoyele Sowore, Stadium maintenance guru, Ebi Egbe, Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Shola Aiyepekun, Gombe state FA Chairman, Yakubu Sarma and top Nigerian women advocate, Ronke Bello.

Speaking on the issue in a chat with Sports Arena, AIPS (Africa) President, Mitchell Obi, confirmed the harassment which the security personnel meted out to him during the ill-fated Super Eagles playoff game against the Black Stars of Ghana.

“Let me say that it was not a good day to experience what happened. How can the people drafted to maintain peace go against what they were expected to carry out? That was a big disgrace to our country”.

“Yes, I was denied access to enter the stadium by security men in one of the entry points”. “I can tell you that as at the time this was happening, the seats at the stadium were still very empty even the VIP session, and I wonder why they did what they did to Nigerians who came out in their numbers to support the national team”.

“The truth is I was disappointed with what I went through because it was not a good development at all”, stated Obi.

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