Emmanuel Adeyemi Lokoja
Four people including a fragile old man one child and two females were said to have died Sunday afternoon while attempting to grab some Covid19 palliative in lokoja the Kogi State capital.
According to an eyewitness account, the palliatives stocked in heaps at some warehouse located at the Pata market Lokoja was besieged as early as 7 .00 am on Sunday by members of the public including Okada riders, taxi drivers and market women.
The stocked palliative include rice, indomie, spaghetti, sugar , among others.
It was learnt that as some agitating youths made efforts in the morning to break into the warehouse, some security personnel including soldiers were said to have formed a barricade around the warehouse warding off whosoever might come near the warehouse.
However, by about 2.00 pm, the security personnel on guard were said to have been overpowered as some students of Kogi State Polytechnic were said to have mobilized to the scene which paved way for hundreds of people who had been lurking around the area.
The stampede that ensued was said to have led to the death of some people in the crowd who were said to have fallen down in their bid to grab some palliative as they were pressed down till they could breathe no more.
Others who succeeded to make their way to the warehouse were said to have been suffocated to death due to excruciating heat .
Speaking with our correspondent who visited the scene, a woman who identified herself as Hajia Bilikisu blamed government for refusing to share the palliatives inspite of what she called ” great hunger in the land”
While lamenting that both the federal and state governments have failed the people, she expressed worry that many casualties may still be recorded as some families have nothing to eat
Efforts to get the reaction of the police public relations officer Willy Aya, proved abortive as he refused to answer several calls made to his cell phone.