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Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan Suspends Campaign to Mourn Stampede Victims

honor of several people who died in a stampede during a political rally last weekend in Port Harcourt. He has also ordered an investigation into the incident. Police said it started when thousands tried to leave his campaign rally in Liberation Stadium last weekend.

The state is still reeling from the disaster, says Ibim Semenitari, the Rivers State information and communication commissioner.

“What we do know for now is that we have 11 people who are dead. Ten of those are female, one male, and they cut cross Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Akwa Ibom States, with Rivers having the highest number…seven. In terms of the number of those wounded, we have those who registered at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital at 32; we still have 15 people on admission.”

Critics say the government did not make adequate preparations for the event and security agents were not trained in crowd control.

Semenitari denies the charge.

“What happened was that while the event was going on, people had been at the rally, people were excited and the rally had taken some time. I reckon [they were in a hurry] to get back home early enough, considering that they were coming from far-off places. Once the flag had been given to their governors (as a symbol of their man date to represent the party)…people began to leave for home. Unfortunately, in that attempt, there was a lot of crowd.”

She says the state governor, Chibuike Amaechi, has taken steps to assist all those affected .

Amaechi says the state government will pay all hospital bills and will assume the costs of all burials.