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.