Activities at the National Stadium, Lagos were on Monday disrupted by protests by some Nigerians agitating for a revolution.
It was learnt that the protests, carried out by members of the ‘Revolution Now’, also created panic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, where the ITTF Africa Cup held.
Some athletes, who spoke to our correspondent, said they cancelled their training plans, while others said the protests caused commotion at the stadium.
Apart from the athletes, students of the National Institute for Sports were also denied access to the stadium.
It was gathered that some of the protesters had converged on the stadium bridge, wearing orange caps at 08.40am, when a majority of the athletes had their training.
There was pandemonium during the protests when security operatives stormed the venue to send off the protesters by teargasing them and blocking the entrance to the National Stadium.
The athletes at the stadium said they were scared when they heard the sound of gunshots, adding that the situation got them confused.
One of the athletes, Lauretta Onye, said the barricade created by security operatives stopped many of them from accessing the stadium.
“None of us was able to train. The stadium was locked. When I got there, I saw some militarymen surrounding protesters. Later, we had to run away when we started hearing gunshots,” she added.
A para-athlete, identified simply as Ake, said, “We were already in the stadium when the crisis started. It was not easy for us to ensure safety. Some of us fell, we ran into one another. We were confused and didn’t know where to go. We thought the protesters were coming to attack us.”
However, the protesters said they had no plans of attacking anyone in the stadium.
One of the leaders of the protesters, Sanyaolu Juwon, said, “We were rounded up with guns, canisters, teargas. We were just with placards and our demands were simple. We demanded free education, payment of N30, 000 minimum wage, and an end to killings going on in the country.
“We were not with any weapon and have no plan of attacking people. We were only with placards, banners and leaflets. The national stadium is just a convergence point for us.”