At least 31 dead in stampede at Nigeria church event

May 29, 2022: According to a report by AFP, more than 30 people were killed on Saturday in a stampede in southern Nigeria during an overcrowded church charity event where food was being distributed.

Shoes and slippers lay scattered on the ground after the disaster in Port Harcourt city in southern Rivers State when people tried to force their way into the event, police and witnesses.

A local church organization was offering food and gifts for the poor at the local Port Harcourt Polo Club when a crowd got out of control, Rivers State police said.

“Unfortunately, the crowd became tumultuous and uncontrollable and all efforts made by the organizers to bring sanity proved abortive hence, the stampede,” the police said in a statement.

“A total of 31 persons lost their lives in the stampede.”

Police said a criminal investigation was underway.

Saturday’s early morning disaster happened as the opposition People’s Democratic Party leaders were gathering in the federal capital Abuja to select their candidate for the 2023 presidential race, including hopeful Rivers State governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike.

Despite its oil wealth, as many as four out of 10 Nigerians live below the national poverty level, according to a recent World Bank Report.

The Ukraine crisis has also pushed up the cost of food and fuel across the continent as wheat and gas supplies are impacted with aid agencies warning about worsening food insecurity in Africa.

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