Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the tragic event that took the lives of several Nigerians at a football viewing centre in Calabar, Cross River on Thursday night.
The President on Friday in Abuja commiserated with the government and people of Cross River and football fans nationwide over the unfortunate incident.
He commended the government for the prompt action in setting up a commission of inquiry into the incident, and for its offer of assistance to the victims and their families.
“I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the mostly young victims whose sudden demise is a big blow not only to their families, but also to the football-loving nation, ’’ he said.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, Buhari prayed that God grants the souls of the departed eternal rest and comfort all who mourned their irreparable loss.
No fewer than 30 persons died on Thursday night in Calabar at a viewing centre while watching the Europa Football League match between Manchester United and Anderlecht.
The incident happened at about 9.30 p.m. at Nyagasang area of Atimbo in Calabar Municipal Local Government Area.
A survivor of the tragic incident told newsmen that a transformer near the viewing centre located in the Iyang-Esu area of the Calabar Municipal Local Government Area exploded during the match and caused a high-tension cable to drop on the viewing centre.
FIFA sad over fans’ deaths in Calabar
The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has expressed sadness over the death of some football fans in Calabar, who were electrocuted while watching Europa League quarter-final game on Thursday.
Seven fans were confirmed dead and many injured as an electric cable from a high tension installation fell on the viewing centre where they were watching the match between Manchester United and Anderlecht.
“FIFA is deeply saddened by the deaths of several football fans in Calabar and offer our deepest condolences to family and friends of the victims,” the world football body wrote on its Twitter handle on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Manchester United has also commiserated with the families of the dead fans.
United won the game 2-1 and qualified for the semi-finals of the competition.
United will face Spanish side, Celta Vigo, in the semi-finals, while Ajax of Netherlands will meet Lyon of France.