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Bereaved Nyaghassang Residents Celebrate Man U Victory In Europa League

Some residents of Nyaghassang Community in Calabar Municipality expressed their delight over Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat of Ajax of Amsterdam to win Europa League crown Wednesday night in Stockholm, Sweden.
 
The residents, who spoke in Calabar on Thursday, said that they were consoled by Manchester United’s victory at the finals for obvious reasons.
 
They also described the Red Devils’ feat as a fitting memory of those who died or were injured from electrocution when a live electric cable fell on viewing on April 20 this year in Nyaghassang.
 
The victims were among several others watching a live football match between the club and Anderlecht at the viewing centre on that black Thursday night in the community.
 
According to the residents the victory was also in memory of those who died at Manchester when a bomb exploded, killed and injured several people after a live concert on Monday.
 
Wednesday’s victory came for the Red Devils at the Swedish capital after a suicide bomber snuffed out 22 lives in Manchester arena on Monday, a few days before the finals.
 
More than 100 people were also injured as fans were trooping out of a concert by Ariana Grande, an American singer and actress. 
 
Similarly, no less than eight persons died on April 20 at Nyaghassang while watching live, a Europa League quarter final football match between Manchester United and Anderlecht of Belgium at a viewing centre.
 
Goals in either half from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, were enough for the Red Devils to defeat on Wednesday a youthful Ajax.
 
According to a resident, Mercy Ngwu: “Their win is our win. Our losses did not go in vain. Although I am still pained, yet I am consoled by this victory’’.
 
Another resident, Sunday Bassey said: “ I watch the Wednesday’s cracker between my club Man U and the young Ajax squad. I am consoled that Man U won.
 
“If the dead can watch the match or hear me I am sure they will be happy in their graves.’’
 
Mandu Nicholas, a football fan, also told our correspondent in Nyaghassang that she was pleased that “our club has won every single competition in club football’’.
 
“They should be celebrated. But I am saddened that we also lost several young souls here for Man U’s sake. My consolation is that they won on Wednesday to vindicate those football fans.
 
“I am also happy that they won because I feel it is a fitting memory of those who died from a bomb blasts in Manchester on Monday,’’ she said.
 
Florence Ita-Giwa, a former senator representing Cross River Southern Senatorial District, said she was pleased that Manchester United won the match in Stockholm.
 
The former senator had promised to build a standard viewing centre at Nyaghassang Community in memory of those who died while watching a Europa League Quarter finals match in the community.
 
She said that the club’s victory was through perseverance and hard work after several odds.
 
Ita-Giwa said: “ It is through perseverance and hard work in spite of the odds and most especially through prayers from our people and our widows.
 
“I am also persuaded that the victory was a major consolatory factor for those who lost their lives or were injured after a bomb blast attributed to a terrorist attack in Manchester.’’
 
Ita-Giwa, a former Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on National Assembly Matters, said her assurances were on behalf of “Concerned Mothers of the Efik Kingdom”.
 
She said the concerned mothers had earlier accompanied her on a visit to victims of Nyaghassan tragedy.
 
She said: “We as mothers of the Efik Kingdom felt the pains of the mothers, wives, and children of those who died here. We also sympathize and commiserate with them and those we died in Manchester attack.
“We appreciate Manchester United, their coaching crew led by Jose Mourinho for winning the Europa league trophy. For us it is consolatory and fitting response in the face of adversity.’’
 
Manchester united under Mourinho, concluded their campaign this year with three trophies and secured Champions League football for next season.
 
The trophies are Europa League, the Community Shield and the English Football League.
 
The club’s 2-0 win over Ajax came after the terrorist attack which claimed 22 lives at the Manchester Arena.