EDO 2020: Athletes, Coaches, Journalists, Fans Scuffle with Security Operatives Over been Barred from Kickboxing Event
By Abdulgafar Oladimeji
Security operatives on Wednesday, afternoon barred technical officials, athletes, sports writers and accompanying officials from gaining access into Samuel Ogbemudia multipurpose hall, venue of kickboxing matches at the ongoing National Sports Festival NSF 2020.
The security operatives, who were acting under strict instructions from officials of Nigeria’s Kickboxing governing body, placed the doors to the arena under locks and keys.
Trouble began when the kickboxing officials, after the match between Kano and Oyo in the 54 kg directed security operatives to evacuate the facility.
Coaches, athletes, sports Journalists and fans were all ordered to exit from the facility.
The directive to vacate the venue was strongly challenged by the affected persons leading to rowdy sessions.
Athletes and coaches seeking access to compete in the next fight were not spared.
Security operatives would not explain the reason behind their action.
A top kick boxing official would equally not explain the reason behind the directive, when quizzed over the instruction given to security operatives, the official said “nobody is allowed to come in only those that are going to fight.”
The situation got out of hands when a fighter from Edo was also denied access. The home fans began to exhibit impatience and dared the operatives.
“Are you the ones to do the fighting, why are you trying to create troubles , you want to spoil the fun, you stopped athletes , coaches and we the fans , what do you people want” the gathered crowd yelled.
Journalists who were also asked to leave the venue resisted the order, resulting into a subtle disagreement between them and those enforcing the directives.
Our correspondent, who witnessed the ugly exchanges, reports that the crowd at the entrance of the hall seized an ample opportunity to force their way into the arena overpowering the security personnel stationed at the entrance.
Our correspondent further reports that as at when filling this report normalcy has returned to the multipurpose hall.