The Akwa Ibom state government has described as false and misleading, a report in the Punch Newspaper of October 8, 2017, which alleged that five people died during the world cup qualifiers between Nigeria and Zambia in Uyo.
The report has been described as misleading, false and malicious, published without efforts to authenticate its veracity.
In a statement in Uyo, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udoh explained that, “there was a rush by spectators; who arrived the venue after the match had started, trying to gain entrance into the stadium which led to a few of them sustaining minor injuries.”
Contrary to the Punch Newspaper report, Mr Udoh said, “there were 9 people injured during the incident and all of them were taken to the hospital for treatment while no life was lost.
“This much was confirmed by the Akwa Ibom State Police Public Relations Officer and the Commissioner for Health.
Commissioner Udoh reassured that, the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium is currently the best maintained sporting facility in Nigeria and has no history of poor crowd control as maliciously posited in the report.
The Commissioner was dismayed that such unverified reports which has a high potency of painting a negative picture of not only Akwa Ibom but Nigeria as a country, was published by the Punch newspaper.
It was the regrets of the Akwa Ibom state spokesperson that such mischievous insinuations contained in the said report could attract unnecessary sanctions to the country by the international football agency.
“I wish to categorically state that the said report is false and tainted with malice,” he added.
Akwa Ibom State is a peaceful state, adjudged to be a safe and secure state with credible leadership which is one of the reasons the state was recently listed by the National Bureau of Statistics as the 2nd largest Foreign Direct Investment Destination in Nigeria.