President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, as a result of a stampede following the presidential campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday.
Backstory: In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the president said he was saddened by what he described as “needless loss of lives and an anti-climax to a highly successful outing”. He said the tragedy could have been averted if there was an orderly exit from the stadium.
“It is indeed a great tragedy that Nigerians who have important roles to play in shaping the future of the country and had come to see and hear from us how hard their government is working to build a Nigeria of their dreams, would meet their end in this unfortunate circumstance,” the statement said.
Moving forward, the president said, “I assure the people, with all sense of responsibility, that the party and the government will do everything possible to ensure the well-being and safety of our citizens as they troop out to attend rallies and all other political events.”
He also assured the government and people of Rivers state of the support and prayers of the Federal Government during these trying times, and prayed that God would grant the souls of those departed, rest.
Who is responsible for the orderly exit?: This isn’t the first time an accident is occurring at political rallies involving the ruling party. One would have thought that at this point adequate measures would have been put in place to avoid repeats of these tragedies. However nothing is done until it occurs and then statements are released putting it down to the failure of the victims to exit in an orderly fashion.