Sad! Two die while struggling to get Tinubu's Ramadan gifts
- Two elderly women lost their life on Saturday, July 2 in a stampede while struggling to get Ramadan gifts
- The gift items were shared to people in the name of the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at Onikan stadium in Lagos state
- A middle-aged man was reported to have fainted in the violent struggle
- Several people sustained serious injury during the sharing of the gifts by the Iyaloja General of Nigeria and Tinubu’s daughter, Mrs Folashade Tinubu-Ojo.
It was a black day for two elderly women at the Onikan stadium, as they died struggling to collect Ramadan gifts distributed on behalf of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a one-time Lagos state governor.
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However, according to the Lagos state police command, it stated that no life was lost as a result of the stampede.
It was gathered that each person was given a gift pack containing a bag of rice, salt, noodles and sugar, in addition, a sum of N1,500 put in an envelope.
SaharaReporters gathered that those who got injured were taken to the Marina General Hospital, while bodies of the dead women, who happened to be in their sixties, were deposited at the hospital’s morgue.
An eyewitness named Musbau Adeyanju, who spoke with newsmen via a telephone call in the evening of Saturday, July 2, stated that a large number of people invaded the stadium at about 8 o’clock in the morning to collect the Ramadan gifts, while males and females maintained separate queues.
Adeyanju said the distribution of the gifts was smooth until around 11.30am when it was disrupted by a few people who were not patient.
The eyewitness stated: “We started entering the stadium with a pass as early as 8am. The distribution started at 10am and each person was collecting a bag containing rice, semovita, noodles, sugar and salt and a sum of N1,500. It was Iyaloja General that represented Asiwaju.
“Around 11.30am, people became impatient for the fear that the gifts might not get to them. There was a stampede and two persons died in the process. Their bodies were laid under a tent, while an ambulance that would carry them was being awaited. It was when the clothes that were used to cover their faces were removed that I discovered they were elderly women.
“Their bodies were eventually taken to the mortuary by an ambulance of the Lagos State Ambulance Services. Several people were also injured. I left the place after the women died.”
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Another eyewitness, who went by the name of Idris, said some area boys used the opportunity of the violent struggle by people to steal people of their valuables.
Idris said:“Initially, the programme was well organised. A gate was opened for males and another for females. Suddenly, some hoodlums at the stadium started snatching phones from people. It was almost my turn when the distribution was disrupted. The age of the women that died should be around 60.”
An unnamed official of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA),who spoke to journalists confirmed there were casualties during the violent struggle, but added that he was barred from speaking to newsmen
The official who pleaded anonymity on the other hand did not mention if there were fatalities among the casualties, saying:“I cannot say whether the casualties involved loss of lives. But some people were rushed to the hospital.”
The general manager of LASEMA, Michael Akindele, dismissed the report of the death of the two women.
Akindele said briefly:“LASEMA did not get any report of such.”
Dolapo Badmos, Lagos state police command public relations officer, said it was only a man who collapsed and was treated immediately, before he was taken to the General Hospital for further treatment.
Badmos stated: “It was a Ramadan lecture organised by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu but he was not there. He was represented. The place became rowdy during the distribution of gifts and a man collapsed in the process. He was treated inside the ambulance at the stadium and was later taken to the hospital for proper treatment. No death was recorded.”
In another accident news reported on Saturday, July 2, a bloody crash along the Bauchi-Kano road led to the death of about 12 persons.