Not fewer than 30 people have been confirmed dead and many other injured, at the programme titled ‘Shop for Free,’ organized to help the less privileged by the Kings Assembly International Church, Port-Harcourt branch, in Rivers state.
According to eyewitnesses, things went awry when the programme aimed at helping the less privileged in society resulted in stampedes as everyone was trying to gain entrance into the Port Harcourt Polo Club, venue of the event.
Pastor & Pastor (Mrs.) Chris Ugoh of KAIC
Again, eyewitnesses said, because “There was no crowd control, a nursing mother with her newborn baby of about four months were among the victims” who met their untimely death while trying to get their own share of the give away.
Ever since the stampede at the venue of the free gifts, ambulances, policemen and other security agencies have been on standby rushing the injured to the hospital, and evacuating dead bodies from the scene of the ugly incident.
Although the Kings Assembly International Church, Port Harcourt branch has not reacted to the unfortunate incident, it was learnt that some top members of the church have been arrested, and detained at the Olu Obasanjo Police Division, among whom is the Church Legal Adviser.
The Rivers State Police Command’s spokesman, DSP Grace Woyengikuro Iringe-Koko, who confirmed the tragic event that has so far, claimed about 31 lives, said the matter would be investigated.