Stampede over N500 Alms In Katsina Kills Five

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No fewer than five women were feared dead on Saturday night, while 15 others sustained varying degree of injuries following a stampede that erupted at the residence of a Katsina-born business mogul.

The victims, who were feared dead during a vicious struggle for N500 alms (Zakkat) and food items being distributed by the business tycoon as Ramadan packages at his palatial residence within Katsina metropolis, were said to be mostly beggars.

When THISDAY visited the scene of the incident, it was gathered that many women also fainted during the struggle which started at about 9:p.m and lasted up to 12midnight.

Further investigation revealed that attempts were made to revive those who fainted while the corpses of the deceased women were taken away by some security operatives and residents of the multi-billionaire’s quarters.

An eyewitness said yesterday that the process for the disbursement of the funds and foodstuffs was smooth until it was disrupted by some impatient beggars, who refused to follow the long queue.

She said: “We always go to his residence to collect N500 and sometimes food items for Ramadan but getting into the house yesterday (Saturday) was very tough and hard. I suffered some bruises, but glory be to Allah, I made it; but more than seven women died and 15 others also sustained serious injuries and were rushed to hospitals yesterday night”.

She added, “I saw them myself and beside it happened outside the compound so everybody around there saw their corpses. They were stepped upon when they fell down and they couldn’t stand up. They were trampled upon and killed. Most of the victims are elderly women who couldn’t stand for a long period of time”.

The eyewitness was among the hundreds of women that converged to receive the Ramadan palliatives in order to assuage their hardship during the fasting period.

When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Gambo Isah, feigned ignorance of the development, promising to investigate and report back to journalists but did not get back to journalists as at press time.

However, heavily armed senior police officers and Hilux patrol Van of the Central Police Station (CPS) were stationed at the residence of the multibillionaire, including the entrance of the street where the house is situated as of the time of filing this report.