Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development says the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA have begun assessment of the stampede which occurred in Rivers State at the weekend.
Scores of worshippers reportedly lost their lives and many others injured during a stampede at a religious event held at the Port Harcourt Polo Club while rushing to get giveaways during a Church programme.
Minister Umar Farouq expressed sadness at the disaster and said that NEMA was already on ground to assist in recovering bodies and taking survivors to hospital for treatment.
“Immediately we heard of the stampede, NEMA swung into action through the State SEMA and other immediate respondents including the police, to rescue the injured and those trapped in the stampede.
“ Efforts are being made to immediately provide relief for the injured after NEMA’s assessment.
“We thank other rescue agencies of the Federal Government who assisted in rescue operations at the stampede site and send our heartfelt condolences to the people and government of Rivers state as well as families of the victims. We pray for the repose of the souls of the dead,” Umar Farouq stated.
The church programme, titled ‘Shop for Free,’ was organized by a church to help the less privileged get gifts and other food items for free.