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HomeNewsMetro‘How I lost my 5-year-old son to Port Harcourt stampede’

‘How I lost my 5-year-old son to Port Harcourt stampede’

Samuel Orji-Eke, the father of a five-year-old boy, who was stampeded to death at the Port Harcourt Church programme, has narrated the circumstances that led to his death.

Orji Eke, who was physically present at the programme with his three children, including the deceased called for a thorough investigation and justice saying the church did not make adequate arrangements to control the crowd.

He said: “My son was five-years old. Around 6:30am, I attended the church programme with my three children. I was holding my son and carrying my six-month-old daughter in my arm and my wife was holding the other one.

“When we got there, the gate was locked, and the crowd was not much. People were refused to enter and in such a church event the gate was not supposed to be locked. This made the crowd to swell and it became too much that the entire road was blocked.

“That was when they opened the gate and there was a mad rush to enter and it was in that process the stampede occurred.

“We had entered the gate properly when people started to fall and the one’s behind trampled on them. That was when they marched me and broke my hand and my son slipped off and he was marched to death.

“He said they should collate details of everybody affected, that he will take full responsibility for it. They took our phone numbers and names.

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“As at the time the incident was happening, there was no presence of police officers, it was only the ushers. It was when the place became rowdy that was when they came and started shooting in the air to disperse the crowd after the damage had been done.

“My son did not die immediately because when it happened no help, no first aid. I am calling for justice. For a church to openly invite people and no proper logistics.”

A woman, identified as Adamma Justice, complained that her 11-year-old daughter was missing after the stampede.

She said: “I am looking for my 11 years daughter. I came with two other kids. Kings Assembly invited us to come because last year we came, they gave us foodstuff so we came this year.

“We were many at the gate, and I was not able to carry the three of them, so I hang one on the fence, and carried the small one on the back and the 11-year-old was in the crowd and they were pushing her and that was how I lost sight of her”.

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