Customs reportedly suspend rice sale after seven die in stampede

The Nigeria Customs Service, on Monday, announced the suspension of the sale of foodstuffs following a stampede that reportedly killed seven persons at the NCS Old Zonal Headquarters in the Yaba area of Lagos State on Friday.

 

The Chief Superintendent of Customs and National Public Relations Officer for Comptroller General of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, disclosed the suspension of the exercise in a statement on Monday.

 

Nigeria Customs had said it was selling seized food items at N10,000 per 25kg to alleviate the people’s suffering as a result of the current high cost of living and other economic hardships.

 

On Friday, a pregnant woman and six others reportedly died in a stampede after some suspected hoodlums attempted to force their way into the Yaba Customs office compound.

 

Some Lagos residents who thronged the NCS office in Yaba expressed disappointment on Monday following the suspension of the initiative.

 

When the Newsmen visited the Customs office at Yaba on Monday, a mass of people, including the elderly, queued up in front of the gate to buy the rice.

 

Voice Air Media learnt that despite spirited efforts by officers to assure the people that the service was out of stock, the crowd continued to grow.

OTHER NEWS   Full List of Areas Affected as Lagos to experience 6-hour blackout

 

Speaking with the Newsmen at the scene, one of the intending buyers, identified as Toyin Oke-Owo, urged President Bola Tinubu to find a lasting solution to the economic hardship in the country.

 

She said, “I have been here since 8 am. They said there would be no rice again. I have not eaten anything since this morning. Help us to tell the President that we are hungry.

 

“They said they wouldn’t sell it because some people died here. They have been chasing us away with a cane. I am hungry. This morning, I soaked cassava flour for my child to drink as breakfast.”

 

Another woman, who identified herself as Adesola Odefunso, said, “Please, help us to beg them that they should distribute what they have to those of us who have been here since morning.

 

“We are not as many as the people who came here on Friday. Help us to beg them to give us rice. We have been here since 5 am. We didn’t sleep throughout the night because of this rice.”

 

Meanwhile, in a statement on Monday evening, the NCS said the suspension became necessary considering “the recent unfortunate event.”

 

“We regrettably announce the suspension of this exercise until we establish what transpired on Friday, February 23, 2024,” the NCS spokesman said.

OTHER NEWS   #EndSARS: Why I Ordered Policemen To Tear Gas Protesters – Commissioner Of Police

 

He explained that: “The disposal of the food items got off to a smooth start at about 0800hrs. We enjoyed the cooperation of the large crowd that obliged us, giving preferences to the elderly, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable Nigerians who showed up for the exercise.

 

“This was the case up until about 1700hrs, as attested to by the over 5,000 beneficiaries and members of the press. However, unforeseen challenges arose when we ran out of stock and announced the continuation of the exercise the following day, leading to a regrettable outcome.

 

“The crowd became desperate and charged through our barricades in search of rice bags inside emptied containers. In the stampede that ensued, some fatalities and injuries were regrettably recorded.”

 

The Customs extended its “heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the unfortunate incident.”

 

The service said it was working with health authorities to establish contact and engage directly with the victims’ families on their next steps. CONTINUE READING…………………..

 

 

VOICE AIR MEDIA – Osun Online Influencing Platform Of The Year (2023).

FOR your Advert Placement, Press Release, Press Conference, Interviews, Media & Publicity.

Contact: 08072633727 or voiceairmedia@gmail.com

Akanji Philip

Correspondent at Voice Air Media.

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *