Seven women were yesterday killed during a stampede in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital during a distribution of the annual Ramadan Charity by a philanthropist businessman, Alhaji Danfulani Maidoya.
The philanthropist has for many decades, been in the habit of giving charity to the needy in form of food items and cash assistance on each Friday of the week, and also on daily basis throughout the annual Holy Ramadan period.
LEADERSHIP observed that the genesis of the tragic incident was the unprecedented crowd of the needy persons that flocked the scene, comprising aged women and children anxiously struggling to get a share of the charity, and this situation is largely attributed to the prevalent endemic poverty in the state.
This tragedy is coming on the heels of Governor Abdulazeez Yari’s pronouncement of committing a whooping sum of over N7 billion for this year’s Ramadan feeding, as against the N2.7 billion he committed for the same project last year.
Our correspondent who was at the scene of the tragic incident, gathered that the awaiting large crowd of the needy lost patience, just as the food items were being packaged inside the building, when they suddenly forced open the main gate, and in a rush to enter the building, there was a stampede leading to the alleged death of seven victims.
Our correspondent, who saw the bodies of two persons at the scene, was however, told by an eyewitness that a total of seven people were crushed to death during the stampede, even as authorities have claimed that there were only three casualties.
The eyewitness said the both the philanthropist and the team of police drafted to control the crowd had tried to control without success due to its huge size.