The National Emergency Management Agency has distributed relief materials to victims of the stampede which led to the death of 31 persons at the Polo Club in Port Harcourt.
The PUNCH reports that the police had confirmed that 31 persons died on Saturday, May 28th following the stampede that happened before the commencement of an outreach tagged ‘shop for free’ by a new generation church, the Kings Assembly in the Rivers State capital.
The programme had yet to start when beneficiaries trooped to the venue and in the process led to a stampede that resulted in deaths.
The South-South Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Godwin Tepikor, told newsmen that the agency distributed the items to over 40 families affected by the stampede.
Tepikor explained that the exercise was sequel to a directive by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for the agency to respond to the situation.
He said, “Consequent upon that, Mr. President directed the NEMA to respond to that incident.
“As a result, on the 9th of this month, the Director-General of NEMA, Ahmed Mustapha Habib, was here on behalf of the federal government to condole with the state and families of those who were affected by that incident and presented relief materials to those families.
“What we are witnessing today is the direct distribution of those items approved by the federal government through NEMA to those persons that were affected by that incident.”
Some affected families who spoke to our correspondent thanked the Federal Government for the gesture.
They however appealed for assistance to bury their loved ones who died in the stampede.
One of them, Samuel Eke said, “Taking all these items they have given us would not solve our problems.
“If they had converted these things to money, at least it will assist us to bury our loved ones. I lost my first child who was five-year-old.
“Though I know the Federal Government has tried through NEMA to give us these things, we are not happy that the church has not made any effort to trace us and sympathize with us since this incident happened.”
On her part, Deborah who said she lost her daughter expressed disappointment that nobody has visited her since the incident.
“It is only God that can wipe away our tears. I don’t even understand what they are doing here. But I hand over everything to God. Whatever I see, I take, but it cannot bring back my daughter’s life,” she stated with tear-filled eyes.
Items distributed for the victims’ families at the Port Harcourt City Council premises include 1000, 10kg bags of rice, 50 kegs of vegetables oil and 30 cartons of seasoning cubes.
Other items were 20 bags of salt, 21 cartons of tin tomatoes, 1000 pieces of nylon mat, 1000 pieces of towel, amongst others.
Officials of the State Emergency Management Agency and Kings Assembly Church were in attendance during the distribution.