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28 worshippers killed in Church stampede As Gov Peter Obi’s Aides Fire Tear Gas Into Crowd




NO fewer than 28 persons, who attended the weekly crusade at the Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry, Uke, in Idemili North local government area of Anambra State, lost their lives during a stampede at the end of the ceremony in the early hours of yesterday.

The crusade, organized by Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obinma for prayers, healing and spiritual retreat, attracts thousands of people, but the one that was held yesterday on the Feast of All Saints turned tragic.

An estimated 100,000 worshippers reportedly attended the crusade because, besides coinciding with the Feast of All Saints, it was also the first Saturday of the month.

Apart from the dead 25 whose bodies were said to have been deposited at Immaculate Heart Hospital and Maternity, Nkpor and Charles Borromew Hospital, Onitsha, several others, who sustained various degrees of injuries, are receiving treatment in various hospitals in Onitsha.


Governor Peter Obi, who attended the crusade in company of 10 persons, including the National Chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, the candidate of the party in the November 16 governorship election, Chief Willie Obiano, as well as two siblings of the governor, was said to have left the crusade ground around 3.30am, before the tragedy.

Meanwhile, an unconfirmed report blamed the stampede on the governor. The report quoted eye witnesses as saying the stampede occurred when Obi started campaigning for his gubernatorial candidate and there were shouts of disapproval, causing his security aides to fire tear gas into the crowd.
But Obi, who said, yesterday, that he was heart-broken by the event, said he went home after the crusade satisfied on the rewarding spiritual encounter, only to get the news later.

He consoled all those affected one way or the other and said those responsible would be punished if found or God will punish them if not found.
The governor said: “When the spiritual director gave me the opportunity to speak, I noticed something unusual as I saw people carrying the posters of politicians at the adoration ground.

“I have been going for the crusade there and, on this occasion, I stayed for six hours and left. Our vehicles were parked two kilometres away and this is a place people have been visiting for a long time without any incident.

“It was later that I heard what happened and we are working hard with security agencies to find out those behind the incident. A holy place should not be a place for playing politics.”


At the time the stampede occurred, many worshippers said they thought the governor and his entourage were still at the crusade, not knowing that he and his entourage had left the area two hours earlier.

Source: Vanguard

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