Asaba 2022: Stadium collapse, kills three, as Okowa ordered journalist to be beaten

By Gabriel Elozino

With less than three weeks to the commencement of the 2022 annual sports festival, tagged ‘Asaba 2022’ three persons have been reported dead at the moment, as the multiple sports complex at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State, collapsed on Thursday morning.

This is as Co-chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, LOC, and Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission, Tonobok Okowa ordered thugs to beat up the first sets of journalists who visited the scene to report the incident.

Asaba 2022The Trumpet gathered that scores of others were injured, and were rushed to the hospital.

Among the dead, our correspondent learnt were construction workers at the site of the building.

The two-storey is under construction in preparation for the 21st National Sports Festival (NSF) to be hosted at the stadium from November 28, this year.

The team of journalists including Paul Osuyi of the Sun, Monday Osayande of Guardian and Amaechi Okwara of Blueprint who went to access the level of damage were bundled out of the stadium on the orders of the chairman, Tonobok Okowa.

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Mr Okowa ordered his boys to confiscate the working tools of the journalists.

Handing out the order, Okowa said “take them out of this place, journalists are not needed.”

But when his boys were reluctant in carrying out the order, he shouted “are they still here, collect their gadgets and bundle them out of here.”

The boys, in carrying out the order, beat the journalists, heating them with sport gun and other objects.

Recall that the collapsed building was recently inspected by the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, who gave a pass mark, saying that the facilities were 80% ready for use.

However, some structural engineers expressed concerns over the speed at which the construction was going, doubting the integrity of the buildings under construction.

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