Four trampled to death in Bauchi alms-giving stampede

Photo caption: A stampede scene

No fewer than four people were reportedly trampled to death on Sunday during an attempt to participate in an almsgiving exercise at Shafa Holdings Company Plc on Jos Road in Bauchi, Bauchi State.
The incident happened at about 10.20am when the company was holding its annual Zakat exercise, otherwise known as almsgiving, to help the less privileged in the state.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Ahmed Wakili, who spoke with PUNCH Metro via a telephone conversation, disclosed that five people became unconscious as a result of the stampede, noting that four were confirmed dead by the doctor on duty at the Abubakar Tafewa Balewa Teaching Hospital Bauchi.
He said, “The command received a distress call at about 10.20am from Abubakar Tafewa Balewa Teaching Hospital Bauchi, indicating that five people were brought to the hospital unconscious due to the stampede, a call we received from a Good Samaritan. Upon receiving the call, the Commissioner of Police, Musa Mohammed, directed the area commander to the scene of the crime.
“We have cordoned off the place and evacuated those injured to the hospital. In the process, five people were in the hospital, but four were confirmed dead by medical doctors. The exercise is a Zakat exercise that was given to the less privileged by Shafa Holding Company along Jos Road; that is the major cause of the stampede.”
He, however, warned others who intend to give alms to the less privileged to always carry along other stakeholders, especially the police, to control the crowd.
He added, “The command is calling on members of the public to go about their lawful business as the situation is under control. The command is calling on wealthy people in the town to exercise extreme caution.
“During the charity-giving process, especially when it involves sharing with large numbers of people, they have to inform the police to help put in place certain channels because we have some standard operational procedures.
“In that standard procedure, we have police officers who control the crowd. If such a measure were taken, I don’t think this would happen.
“We are sending our condolences to the public and family of the bereaved, as the commissioner of police has directed a distinct investigation to unravel the circumstances that surround the event.”

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