“I was prompted by the spirit of God to climb the stadium pole to bring attention to the dilapidated basic facilities of the place, I am no thief.”
Kingsley Paul, a 24-year-old 400-level student fromUniversity of Calabar climbed one of the streetlights at UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar, on Thursday to protest the stadium’s dilapidated facilities.
Mr Paul, who was rescued by state police officers, said he was “driven by the spirit of God” to climb the pole in protest.
He said he was neither a thief nor a suicide attempt.
“I was prompted by the spirit of God to climb the stadium pole to bring attention to the dilapidated basic facilities of the place, I am no thief.
“I also did not attempt to kill myself. I am a philosophy student at the University of Calabar, level 400, I have no reason to want to kill myself.
“So my intention was just to raise awareness and bring the government’s attention to the state of the stadium.
“I know there have been renovations to the pool and the basketball court, but a lot of other athletes are hurting because the track and the court have gone really bad,” he said.
He maintained that he just wanted the government to do something about the challenge, adding that he believed his mode of protest would give the place the necessary attention.
Speaking to reporters, state police spokeswoman Irene Ugbo said the incident was unfortunate.
“While commending the Dragon Squad commander who rescued the protester for his timely intervention,” she said, adding that “their initial thought was that this was a suicide attempt.”
Ms Ugbo, a police superintendent, said after questioning him they discovered he had climbed the spotlight to protest and brought the dilapidated state to the attention of the Cross River State government from UJ Esuene Stadium.
“He said he was a sports fan and was not happy with how many facilities in and around the stadium had been left to rot.
“We will profile it further as it will help us know if there is any hidden intent as we will not tolerate any kind of commotion that could lead to a second #ENDSAR protest,” she said.
The incident caused a traffic jam along the Murtala Muhammed highway.