Security Agencies Tasked Against Stampede As Gov Eno Offers Free Tickets To Fans

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Ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifying match between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa billed for the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Akwa Ibom State on Friday, Governor Umo Eno, has purchased the entire tickets free for fans to cheer the national team to victory.

Kick- off time, according to the local organising committee (LOC), is 8:00pm, Nigerian time.

Commissioner for Sports in the State, Sir Monday Uko, who announced this in the early hours of Friday, said the gesture became necessary to galvanise the enthusiasm of fans in view of the prevailing hardship that could create apathy amongst the football fans.

“The people-centric governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno, has graciously procured all match tickets for the highly anticipated 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Bafana Bafana of South Africa, for free distribution to all Akwa Ibom indigenes and residents, nay all football enthusiasts across the country.

“Governor Eno, a frontline supporter of the Super Eagles, therefore urges the people to come out in vast numbers to cheer the Super Eagles to victory, while also appealing for orderly conduct and a showcase of the renowned hospitality of Akwa Ibom people to our visitors.

“The Governor wishes the Super Eagles a resounding victory and looks forward to a thrilling match,” Uko said.

However, checks by LEADERSHIP revealed that the tickets are out – of – stock in most designated outlets, an indication that the 30,000 capacity facility could be overwhelmed by fans, who, aside the local NPFL games involving Akwa United, had not watched any high profile international match for a while.

As such, fears of a possible stampede have been expressed by concerned residents as hordes of visitors from neighbouring Abia, Rivers, Cross River, Imo, Anambra and others had already trooped in the last couple of days.

“Many fans across the neihbouring states had arrived since the beginning of the week to witness the inauguration of a charity foundation by the Super Eagles defender, Williams Troost – Ekong. And, these added to the home fans could put pressure on the 30,000 – capacity stadium, which could result in stampede, if the number is not well regulated,” NsikakAbasi Offiong, a concerned fan noted.

“Such crises had been averred on some big sporting occasions in time past, therefore security agencies should be alert and alive to their responsibilities,” he warned.

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