Bayelsa State has been thrown into mourning following the death of four supporters of Bayelsa Queens, with seven others critically injured, The PUNCH reports.
The accident happened on Sunday at Kwale, Delta State, while the supporters were travelling to Asaba to cheer their team, who were scheduled to play the 2022/23 Nigeria Women’s Football League final against Delta Queens.
The survivors, who sustained varying degrees of injuries, are currently receiving treatment at the Asaba Specialist Hospital, Asaba.
According to reports, the fans were travelling via a chartered bus donated by the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri.
The fans were hoping to support the Restoration Girls, who were the defending champions of the NWFL.
A Yenagoa-based journalist Eddy Ohis told The PUNCH, “After qualifying for the final, the Bayelsa State Government provided a bus to convey more fans to cheer Bayelsa Queens in Asaba.
“On their way there, their vehicle somersaulted and four supporters died with others injured. The bus tumbled five times and the four people died instantly, while about 10 people were injured. One of my friends, who I have known for more than 20 years, is among the dead.”
Delta Queens won the final 2-1 to dethrone Bayelsa Queens as the NWFL champions and Ohis said the players were not informed of the tragedy ahead of the game, so that they won’t lose concentration.
“We kept the sad news away from the players so that they could play the final; we kept the sad news until after the game. We were hoping that they would win the final, but unfortunately the girls lost to Delta Queens.”
Our correspondent learnt three of the fans who lost their lives were cousins of the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Sports, Daniel Igali.
“It’s a personal loss to my brother Daniel because three of those that passed on were his first cousins who took up the trip because of Daniel. There are others lying critically ill in the hospital whose fate is yet unknown. There are still others who if they make it may never walk again. I’m broken right now,” former Rivers State sports commissioner Chris Green stated.
The Governor of Delta State, Sheriff Oborevwori, who visited the victims in Asaba on Monday, commiserated with the people of Bayelsa State.
“It’s a mixed feeling for us because we were supposed to be rejoicing that we defeated Bayelsa in the Nigerian Women’s Football League final. We are not happy because four persons died and seven injured on their way to watch the game.
“As a state, we are in pains and we have commiserated with the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, over the loss.
“We want to once again on behalf of the government and people of Delta commiserate with the good people of Bayelsa over the sad incident. May God grant their souls eternal rest,” Oborevwori said.