By Amaechi Agbo
The minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare, the ministry of youth and sports Akwa Ibom State, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF and the Nigeria Women Football League, NWFL have all condoled with the management of Nigeria women football club side, Police Machine of Akwa Ibom over the loss of their two players on Tuesday.
Police Machine Football Club of Akwa Ibom lost two of their players – Aniebet Ekong and Glory Saturday on Tuesday after their evening training ahead of their relegation playoff in Lokoja, Kogi State.
The two players lost their lives through an accident when a hit-and-run trailer driver in Uyo, hit them on the road after their training leading to their death with another player, Monica Anthony critically injured but receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.
In his condolence message, the minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare sent his heartfelt sympathies to the Police Machine team over the death of two players.
The Minister while expressing shock and sadness over the unfortunate incident prayed God to grant the souls of the departed players rest while praying for comfort for the families, friends, teammates and the entire Police Force.
The Minister also wishes those who were injured in the incident a speedy recovery, while urging the Police to do all it can to fish out the perpetrator.
On its part, the Nigeria Football Federation says it is deeply saddened by the death on Tuesday night of two players of Nigeria Women Professional League club, Police Machine Female FC, who were killed by a hit-and-run Jeep driver that ran into about five persons in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
“It is with deep shock and sense of immense loss that we received the tragic news of the death of the players. It is a very, very sad situation for such young ladies to be cut down in their prime in such manner.
“This is a tragedy of immense proportions. We are much grieved. Our hearts go out to the families of the players, Police Machine FC, the Nigeria Women Football League and the entire Nigerian Football family. We pray that Almighty God will grant the departed players eternal rest and also comfort those they have left behind,” NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, said on Wednesday morning.
The Akwa State ministry of youth and sports in its condolence message, described the deaths as rude shock.
“We received with rude shock, the heart-wrenching news of the unfortunate demise of two footballers, Glory Saturday and Ini Ekong, through an accident by a hit-and-run trailer driver in Uyo, Tuesday.
“Until their deaths both footballers played for Police Machine Female Football Team of Akwa Ibom State Police Command.
“It is even gloomier that this ill-fated occurrence took place just when the team was due to travel to Lokoja to participate in the National Women Pro League.
“We wish to expressly state that these two deceased footballers contributed in no little measure to the uplift and promotion of football nay sports in our State especially when they and their colleagues won the National Women Play-Off in Abuja to qualify for the Women Pro League.
“Whereas we lack words to adequately articulate the sadness of our hearts in the sports community of the State but we join thousandths of football followers from within our dear State and beyond to commiserate with the families of the deceased and the Nigeria Police Force especially Akwa Ibom State Police Command on this despicable event.
“It is our collective prayer that God embellishes you all with the necessary fortitude and valour to bear this irreplaceable loss.
“Please accept our sincerest condolences and the assurance of our whole-hearted support during these moments of trepidation,” the state ministry said on Wednesday
The Nigeria Women Football League has also sent in their condolence message to the team and officials of the Police Machine Football Club commiserating with them over the tragic loss
In a message sent to the club and signed by the Chief Operating Officier of the NWFL, Alhaji Ayo Abdulrahman, the league management said it grieves with the club.
“The board of the Nigeria Women Football League, has sent an official letter of condolence signed by the Chief Operating Officer, Alhaji Ayo Abdulrahman, to the management of the Nigeria Police Female Machine Football Club of Uyo over the unfortunate incidence that led to the death of two of the club’s players yesterday, Miss Aniebet Ekong and Glory Saturday, in Uyo.
“The C.O.O, said in the condolence letter addressed to the club Chairman: ‘We collectively commiserate and grieve with you and the entire officials and crew of the club.”’