31 Dead In Stampede At Nigeria Church Food Event

31 dead in stampede at Nigeria church food event

A total of 31 people were killed in the stampede, police said. (Represent)

Abuja, Nigeria:

More than 30 people were killed in southern Nigeria on Saturday after a stampede broke out during a crowded church charity event where food was being distributed.

Shoes and sandals were scattered on the ground following the disaster in the city of Port Harcourt in the southern Rivers state as people tried to make their way into the event, police and witnesses said.

A local Kings Assembly church was delivering food and gifts to the needy at the Port Harcourt Polo Club when a mob of “mammoths” spiraled out of control, Rivers State Police said. know.

“Unfortunately, the crowd became boisterous and uncontrollable, and all efforts by the organizers to bring sobriety were aborted,” police said in a statement.

“A total of 31 people were killed in the stampede.”

Images posted on social media and verified by AFP showed families crying and tending to the wounded, many of them children, outside the city’s military hospital.

Witnesses described frantic shoving and stamping as people trying to enter the entrance were forced to turn around.

Witness Chisom Nwachukwu said: “They told people, ‘Turn around, turn around, come back. “Some people are pushing from behind are marching on those people.”

Police said a criminal investigation is underway.

National Emergency Management Agency south regional coordinator Godwin Tepikor told AFP church members were seated inside as crowds of people poured in.

“A huge crowd from outside flooded the club through a narrow gate, leading to a stampede,” he said.

A church representative could not be immediately contacted for comment.

Nigeria has seen a number of stampede tragedies related to food distribution in recent years, including an aid agency food program in North Borno state where seven women were trampled. to death last year.

Saturday’s early morning disaster struck as leaders of the opposition People’s Democratic Party were gathering in the federal capital Abuja to choose their candidate for the 2023 presidential race, with the governor Rivers State, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike is one of the hopefuls.

Port Harcourt is the main oil hub in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, and the continent’s largest producer of petroleum.

According to a recent World Bank report, despite being rich in oil, four out of 10 Nigerians live below the national poverty line.

The Ukraine crisis has also pushed up food and fuel costs across the continent as wheat and gas supplies have been affected, with aid agencies warning of food insecurity on a daily basis. more severe in Africa.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from the syndication feed.)

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