Residents of the popular Nnebisi and commuters plying the road narrowly escaped death on Monday, after the electric scoreboard at the newly commissioned Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta State, collapsed.
Staff of the Sports Commission headed by Tony Okowa, younger brother of Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, who witnessed the collapse of the electric scoreboard at about 7pm, told SaharaReporters that the scoreboard collapsed as a result of a heavy wind.
Members of staff, including others who came for training at the stadium, were seen scampering for safety.
A staff who witnessed the incident, but preferred not to be named, said: "So many people would have been dead by now if an event was going on in the stadium. The collapsed scoreboard fell on top of some buildings used as restaurants, where people normally eat at night.
"I witnessed the collapse of the electric scoreboard and I thank God that it did not fall towards the main road or on houses around the stadium. I weep for Delta State and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, as he has a penchant for awarding contracts running into millions of Naira to incompetent persons.
"Don't forget that this was how a water tank collapsed during the 21st African Senior Athletics Championships, tagged 'Asaba 2018', which saw thousands of athletes and spectators escape death. Because Governor Okowa was in so much of a hurry to host the championship when all necessary things had not been put in place, I can confirm to you that all the materials used in the stadium are substandard. Okowa is losing it seriously. He is busy procuring media awards from media houses across board in Nigeria.
"The stadium was a multi-billion-naira contract awarded to Solomon Ogba, a former President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and LOC chairman, 'Asaba 2018' but could not be done to a standard. All what the Governor does is to use contracts to do ‘saraka’ for his stooge and cronies. Okowa government na padi padi and food-for-the-boys government.”
Our correspondent reliably learnt that the scoreboard was uprooted from its base by the wind and collapsed into structures, damaging some parts of the stadium.
At the time of filing in this report, the area has been condoned off, while an iron roof and other properties severely destroyed by the collapsed scoreboard at the road side have been covered up with tarpaulin. Visitors have also been restricted from entering the premises, which also houses the commission.
In August 2018, thousands of athletes and spectators narrowly escaped death following the collapse of a substandard overhead water tank at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta State, during the 21st African Senior Athletics Championships.
The incident created panic among the athletes and spectators, left vehicles, wall fence and other things damaged, while spectators were seen scampering for their lives.