President Muhammadu Buhari is unhappy right now that more than ten supporters died at the APC Presidential Campaign Rally in Rivers State. Reports say the victims were some of his supporters.
In a statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, President Buhari said he’s deeply saddened by the tragic loss of lives and extends deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims. He also wished a speedy recovery to all those injured.
Rousing welcome for President Buhari in Port Harcourt at APC Campaign Rally on 12th feb 2019. Source: Facebook via Femi Adesina
The President described the deaths as “needless loss of lives and an anti-climax to a highly successful outing” in the oil city that could have been averted if there was an orderly exit from the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium.
“It is indeed a great tragedy that Nigerians who have important roles to play in shaping the future of the country and had come to see and hear from us how hard their government is working to build a Nigeria of their dreams, would meet their end in this unfortunate circumstance.
“I assure the people, with all sense of responsibility, that the party and the government will do everything possible to ensure the well-being and safety of our citizens as they troop out to attend rallies and all other political events,” the President said.
President Buhari assured the government and the people of Rivers State as well as the affected families of the support and prayers of the Federal Government during this difficult time.
The President prayed Almighty God to grant the souls of the deceased repose.
Recalled that fourteen persons on Tuesday lost their lives at the end of the presidential campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress at the Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The persons died in a stampede around the gate of the stadium as the crowd attempted to leave the venue of the campaign. Eight other persons were critically injured as they were marched on as people rushed to go home after listening to President Muhammadu Buhari, who was the last speaker at the APC event.
Those who were seen lying lifelessly on the ground include three middle-aged women and a man. The incident happened around 4pm after the President and his entourage had left the stadium, The Punch reported.
A private vehicle owner, who tried to rush one of the victims, a middle aged woman, to a medical facility to save her life, returned her corpse and dumped it on the road after noticing that she had died.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident, adding that four persons were receiving treatment at a hospital.
Omoni said, “I can confirm to you that four persons died as a result of a stampede at the stadium on Tuesday. Four other persons are currently receiving treatment in a hospital.”
The University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, confirmed that 14 dead bodies were brought in on Tuesday.
The Public Relations officer of UPTH, Kem Daniel-Elebiga, told our correspondent this on the telephone.
“Yes, 14 dead bodies were brought to the hospital this evening from the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium. I cannot ascertain the number persons at the Accident and emergency Ward,” he added.
Earlier, President Mohammadu Buhari vowed that his administration would not allow any security agent to intimidate or disenfranchise voters during Saturday’s elections.
Buhari, who is also the presidential candidate of the APC, urged candidates of the party in Rivers State to remain resolute despite the Supreme Court’s ruling barring the party’s candidates from participating in elections scheduled for February 16 and March 2, 2019.
He said, “I congratulate the Rivers APC family for your strength to agree to be here since 6am in your numbers despite the effort to demoralise you. They say you are not allowed to contest in the elections in Rivers State, but I assure you, justice will be done.
“I urge all party members to listen to obey party rules; I will not allow any security agency to intimidate and disenfranchise anyone from voting despite party affiliation in any part of the country.”
APC Supporters awaiting the arrival of President Buhari at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on Saturday, February 9, 2019. Photo credit: Bashir Ahmad on Twitter
The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, said the courage of the APC in Rivers State would put its enemies to shame.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, stated that the APC in Rivers was battle ready to ensure victory for Buhari.
The campaign rally of the party continues.