In a desperate bid to prevent the announcement of a result which their boxer had convincingly lost, supporters of Team Edo went on rampage at the Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre, Benin-City, disrupting the ongoing boxing event of the National Sports Festival the state is holding leading to people running for their life on Tuesday night.
Trouble started a few minutes after 7:00pm immediately the bout between Team Edo’s Lydia Uhumwangho and Bayelsa’s Jachinlta Umunnekwe ended with the decision of the referees not likely to favour Edo State, the fans who were already apprehensive invaded the floor, chanting war songs to intimidate the referees from going ahead with the announcement of the result.
Pleas from senior Edo State government officials who were on the ground failed to calm the fans until the situation got out of hands.
What compounded the already tense situation was the shocked disconnection of power within the cultural centre for some minutes by unknown persons. This caused commotion with people running helter skelter.
Even the security personnel on ground were seeing running for their lives together with many innocent athletes and officials whose fate could not be known as at the time of filling this report. Gunshots were heard outside the hall where some people have already locked the gate to the centre.
At least three fights were prevented from holding on Tuesday night because of the violence and were declared inconclusive by the Nigeria Boxing Federation. These included the 91kg bout between Lagos and Ondo State (male), +81kg fight between Ondo and Delta and +91kg bout between Delta and Enugu.