I
decided to stay indoors most of my second day in this town and I meant it
because Tuesday was a bit hectic for me.
My
only plan for Wednesday was to go to the Godswill Akpabio Stadium at 5pm to
watch the practice game between the Eagles and Akwa United so indoors I stayed.
I
wrote some articles, followed up Europe’s Transfer Deadline Day highlights and
then completed Season 2 of The Last Ship and actually started Season 3.
Horrible food
given to me
At
three o clock I ordered lunch at the hotel and wanted White soup (Afiafere as
it is known in these parts) and they said they only had Afang soup which I did
not want.
I
then ordered Jollof rice (Nigerians won’t like the outcome of this rice but
maybe Ghanaians reading this would).
After
a long wait in which I almost died of hunger, the rice came but something
strange happened.
The
steward opened it up and asked me, “Do you like it? Is it good?” and I wondered
why that question came.
My
response was, “You can’t tell how food tastes by looking at it. You have to
taste it first.”
That
should have been my cue because tasting it proved that it was the worst piece
of culinary work I had tasted since Temisan Okomi tried to cook for us at university
of Uyo.
I
couldn’t eat it but I was hungry so I sampled the goat meat and rushed off to
the stadium.
Where are the
lights?
Stadium
was a quarter full as everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of the players and see
how they perform before the big game and the coach, Gernot Rohr started with a
conservative side.
He
dropped off Leon Balogun, William Troost Ekong, Ogenyi Onazi, Kelechi Iheanchor
Victor Moses, Mikel Obi and Odion Ighalo on the bench.
It
was a good game as Brown Ideye, Victor Osimhen and Ezekiel Imoh wowed the fans.
The
Akwa United team didn’t do badly and the fans, their fans at the stadium hailed
their every move especially when Ubong Friday did a “show me your height” move
on Elderson Echiejile.
If
you played football on the streets, Choosing and all, you will know Show me
your height.’
Getting high with
the Eagles
But
the Uyo people are gangsters any way. They soon turned the stadium terraces
into a “bunk”
Una
know wetin bunk be na! Abi na me spoil pass for here?
It
was like everyone in the stadium (except me and the players on the pitch) had
rolled up a blunt/ spliff/ joint/ every other name you know it by and were
taking hits.
When
it hit me, I knew if I didn’t change position I’d soon be thinking I was
watching the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina, but I digress.
The
smell of dope had taken over most of the terraces.
But who stole the
lights?
On
Tuesday, I just got into town and went to watch the Eagles train… you can read
about that in My Super Eagles Uyo Diary Day 1.
The
training session lasted just 25 or so minutes because darkness befell the
stadium and nobody wanted to turn on the floodlights.
When
it started getting dark, a colleague of mine based in Uyo, right in front of me
started putting calls through to those that are responsible and the response he
got was, “We didn’t know the Super Eagles would train today so we can’t turn on
the lights.”
Like
play, like play, as we say in local parlance, darkness overwhelmed the stadium
and the training had to be cut short.
There
were a few angry voices at the stadium but every one eventually went home.
This
was one day later and the Eagles were now playing a game against Akwa United. The
second half had kicked off and it was getting dark but the lights did not go on.
The
fans began to get restive with some shouting out, “Turn on the lights please! It’s
getting dark.”
But
the lights were not turned on. At this point I saw Nigeria Football Federation
officials frantically making phone calls and pacing up and down the tartan
tracks but the lights did not go on.
About
twenty or so minutes into the second half I saw Emmanuel Ikpeme walk up to the
4th official and signaled to him that the game cannot continue so he
showed the board for two minutes of added time.
That
was enough for Odion Ighalo to score his penalty to make scores 3-0.
As
soon as the referee sounded the final whistle, angry fans started throwing
missiles into the pitch (sachet water and whatever else they could lay their
hands on.”
The
police were able to douse the tension and we all left the pitch.
Is Akwa Ibom State
ready for the game?
I
managed to conduct two pitch side interviews with Brown Ideye and Gernot Rohr
but the official Post Match meeting could not hold because the conference room
of the stadium was locked and no one knew were the keys were.
So
the flood lights did not come on two nights in a row and now the conference
room is locked and can’t be opened.
On
our way out I tried to find out what was wrong because I was so sure it was
sabotage.
I
won’t be able to publish my findings though… at least not yet.
A
girl claimed her phone was snatched just outside the stadium. She sprained her
ankle while trying to run from the bandits but that seemed an isolated case.
I
saw her limp past me, crying as her friend held her arm explaining to those who
asked her what had happened.
I
immediately got into my friend’s car and locked the door.
There
are pockets of these anytime a crowd gathers and if you stray away from the
multitude.
If
hand touch me for Uyo, wetin I go tell area when I reach Port Harcourt?
Before
retiring for the night I went out for Barbecue fish with Idongesit Ikono.
The
fish was nice. And as to my statement above, I do not know what Temisan Okomi’s
cooking tastes like as I was not in school with him in Uyo.
I
believe his cooking is horrible anyway.
Day
2 over.

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