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Asaba 2018: African contingent stranded in Lagos due to flight unavailability

Asaba – The contingent from various African countries billed for the African Senior Athletics Championships are stranded in Lagos due to flight to Asaba, venue of the competition being unavailable.

Delta State Acting Governor, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro (2nd left); Chairman Local Organizing Committee, Chief Solomon Ogba (2nd right); Chairman State Sport Commission, Tony Okowa (right) and Hon. Emeka Nwaobi, during the Test Run of the Facilities at Stephen Keshi Stadium, towards the Preparation of the 21st African Senior Athletics Championship Game in Asaba, Delta State.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ones who managed to reach Asaba had spent at least a night in Lagos and many without their luggage.

An International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) observer for the event beginning on Wednesday, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) anonymously that he arrived in Lagos on Sunday but could not get a flight to Asaba.

“A lot of us had to pass the night in Lagos and at about 4 p.m. the following day, we boarded a local flight to Asaba,’’ he told NAN on Tuesday in Asaba.

“By this time, the African contingent have increased in number and only limited spaces in the flight, so, a few had to stay back in Lagos.

“As I speak to you, my luggage hasn’t arrived in Asaba. We were told to go to the Asaba International Airport later in the day to see if they have brought them.

“I am still on the same clothes since yesterday. It is just a terrible situation,’’ he said.

Abdoulaye Thiam, a Senegalese journalist, currently stranded in Lagos, told NAN via a social media platform that he had arrived on Monday but remained in Lagos due to same issue.

“All the Senegalese contingent as well as countries like Kenya, Morocco and Congo are still in Lagos. We have yet to get information if flights are scheduled this morning to Asaba.

“We are just patient and hopeful, and believe we all will have to going batches because we are increasing in number and all stranded,’’ he said.

Efforts by NAN to reach Olukayode Thomas and Ameachi Akawo, Head of Media and Secretary Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the competition respectively failed as they could not answer their calls.

The event is scheduled for Aug 1 to Aug. 5, at the Stephen Keshi Stadium. (NAN)


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