Anambra Guber: About 30 Persons Die at Church StampedeFeatured, Ignatius Okpara, Latest News, News Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
By Ignatius Okpara, Enugu
It was indeed a black Saturday in Anambra state, south east Nigeria as about 30 woshippers lost their lives in an early hour stampede at a prayer house in Uke in Idenmili – Anambra central senatorial district of the state.
The ugly incident our correspondent gathered occurred as a result of alleged stampede that happened when the All Progressive Grand Alliance [APGA] campaign train storm the holy place of worship to canvass for vote.
Sources told our correspondent that Governor Peter Obi and the APGA candidate in the November 16th Anambra governorship election, Willie Obiano, had arrived the prayer house, otherwise known as [Adoration Ministry] at the early hours of about 12:15am to address the audience that had come for an all night vigil prayers.
The arrival of the APGA campaign team according to the source who do not want his name in the print, caught the audience unaware and surprising.
Governor Peter Obi had during his speech promised to make available N5million to the prayer house to help tackle a gully erosion site near the Adoration grounds.
It was gathered that there was a stampede immediately the governor finished his speech and was about leaving the place with his entourage. The unfortunate incident left about 30 persons dead, as their corpses were seen littered the ground.
An estimate of over 200 were injured, just as there are speculation that most of the injured and the dead are supporters of the (APC) candidate, Dr. Ngige.
According to one of the survivors of the stampede “they rejected willie Obiano, and were chanting Ngige Ngige it took hours to calm the crowd by Father Ebube Muonso so that Peter Obi could speak.
“Peter Obi made donation of N2million to the Reverend Father. The Father rejected it and ask him to give that to the poor whom he had starved for years. And later there was a stampede.”
As at the time of filling this report, a total of 28 corpses have been deposited at Crown Hospital Nkpor. The wounded taken to Borromeo Hospital Onitsha,in the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the state, Emeka Chukwuemeka however said: “the number of deaths cannot be ascertained until we conclude investigations because some persons who fainted were later resuscitated.”
Meanwhile, Governor Obi has vowed to set up a Panel of Enquiry to immediately ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the tragedy.
Also , Dr Chris Ngige, the governorship flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has blamed governor Obi and his entourage for the tragic stampede.
Dr Ngige through a statement issued by his campaign organization and signed by Mr. Igboeli Arinze alleged that the stampede may have been caused by the presence of Gov. Peter Obi and the candidates of APGA in the forthcoming election, Mr. Willie Obianio.
“When the Governor came to the adoration grounds, he began to campaign for his candidate, Mr. Willie Obianio, this largely irked the congregants who began to gently protest that the adoration ground was a place of prayer and not politics.
“In the course of the governor leaving the premises of the prayer ground, the governor’s security agents in their overzealousness began to manhandle the crowd all in the name of wanting to secure their principal, this we hear was actually what caused the stampede.
“We regret that such a situation could have been avoided if the APGA campaign team did not visit the adoration ground at that ungodly hour to campaign for votes.” the statements stated.
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