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Nasarawa University Stampede Claims Lives During Distribution Of Palliatives

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Nasarawa University Stampede Claims Lives During Distribution Of Palliatives

 

In a distressing turn of events, the Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK) has been plunged into mourning following a stampede during the distribution of palliatives, resulting in the loss of two lives and leaving fourteen others injured.

 

The death was confirmed by Dr. Ahmed Kana, the Head of Clinical Medical Services, Federal medical center, Keffi.

 

Recall that Governor, Abdullahi Sule had already visited Federal University Lafia, College of Education, Akwanga, College of Agriculture, Lafia among others and distributed 7.5 kg rice and N5000 cash to students to cushion the economic hardship been experienced across the country.

The governor was scheduled to extend the same gesture to students of NSUK on Friday but even before his arrival, students had visited the location of the palliative at the university convocation square and looted it causing mayem and stampede of some students in the process.

 

According to Kana, two students were confirmed dead and both were females while out of the 17 wounded casualties brought to the medical center, only one was a male.

 

“For now most of them stable and we are resuscitating others and by God’s grace some of them will go home very soon and stable.

 

He appreciated the effort of the security agencies for handling the situation appropriately.

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“What is important for us now is to treat the emergency cases and ensure there is no more fatality. We can later call the management of Nasarawa State University to discuss on the matter,” he said.

 

Expressing their dismay, a student, Stephen Innocent, a 300-level Mass Communication student, lamented the flawed distribution modalities, attributing them to the unfortunate stampede. He recounted the confusion surrounding the timing of the distribution, initially scheduled for the previous Saturday but postponed to Friday.

“We thought it would be given to the heads of faculties for further distribution, but that was not the case. Instead, students were informed of the distribution today, leading to a rush and ultimately the tragic stampede,” Innocent stated.

 

Describing the chaotic scene, witnesses recounted how students, driven by desperation, overwhelmed security officials and forcibly accessed the distribution venue at the convocation ground. Some students resorted to extreme measures, including scaling fences and engaging in physical altercations to secure their share of the palliatives.

 

“It was horrible,” one witness remarked, highlighting the sheer desperation and intensity of the situation. “Students were climbing over each other, pushing and shoving, all for a chance to receive the palliatives.”

 

The devastating outcome of the stampede serves as a stark reminder of the dire economic conditions faced by many Nigerians. It underscores the urgent need for government intervention to address the prevailing hardship and ensure the equitable distribution of resources to those in need.

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Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, NSUK, Suleiman Bala, has expressed profound sorrow over the tragic stampede incident that claimed the lives of two students and left several others injured during the distribution of palliatives.

 

Addressing the press, Bala lamented the loss of lives, describing the day as a somber one in the annals of NSUK’s history. He revealed that the state government had provided palliatives consisting of two bags of rice with accompanying monetary assistance to over four thousand students. However, the distribution process was marred by impatience, resulting in the stampede and subsequent casualties.

 

“The state government, concerned about this scenario, decided to send the Deputy Governor to gather firsthand information,” Baba stated. He confirmed that the Deputy Governor visited the general hospital where he witnessed the extent of injuries and confirmed the tragic loss of two students’ lives.

 

Following deliberations with the Deputy Governor, Bala disclosed plans to establish a high-powered committee within the university to investigate the incident thoroughly and formulate recommendations. Additionally, the government will institute its committee to ensure a comprehensive probe into the matter.

 

Bala emphasized the significance of upholding academic integrity and character within the university community, stressing that any individuals found responsible for the incident would face appropriate sanctions. He underscored the detrimental impact of the incident on the institution’s reputation and vowed to uphold accountability.

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“What has happened has dented our reputation, our image, and has created a bad name for us, and we will not accept it,” Bala asserted. “The investigation will proceed meticulously, armed with all the facts and information available.”

 

However, In a press statement issued from the Government House on Friday, Nasarawa State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, has expressed profound shock and sadness over the tragic stampede that occurred at Nasarawa State

 

University, Keffi, on the morning of Friday, March 22, 2024.

 

The unfortunate incident, which claimed the lives of two students, reportedly occurred when suspected hoodlums and misguided individuals forcibly gained access to the university’s convocation ground in an attempt to loot rice meant for distribution as palliatives to students.

 

Governor Sule, who had initiated the laudable palliative distribution program, mourned the loss of lives and extended heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.

 

He remarked, “I pray their souls rest in peace. Our thoughts and condolences go to their families and friends at this moment of grief. These young people’s lives cut short at their prime under such circumstances is painful.”

 

S0URCE: SUN

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