A yet-to-be-disclosed number of members of the Peoples Democratic Party's Kwara state chapter have lost their lives on Wednesday, October 16, night, while struggling to obtain various handouts distributed by the former Governor of the State, Bukola Saraki. The deceased were said to have been stampeded while several others sustained serious injuries.
According to a source, no less than a dozen people have died in the crowd that gathered at an event which is popularly called PDP Charity House, and was held near Saraki's Ilorin residence.
The incident occurred as party members wrestled each other to get the yearly sallah gifts donated by Saraki and other philanthropists.
In his statement to the press, the Publicity Secretary of Kwara PDP, Mas'ud Adebimpe, confirmed the incident (naming four deaths) and commiserated with the families of the victims.
"The Peoples Democratic Party Kwara State chapter held its annual Sallah celebration at PDP Charity House where many party faithful were in attendance.
"The event which is an annual activity of the party went on smoothly until the unfortunate incident of a stampede, which led to some people fainting. They were immediately rushed to a hospital few blocks away from the venue.
"While some are currently responding positively to treatment, we however regret to announce that we lost four of our party members to the unfortunate development.
"Our prayers go out to the families of the deceased and we pray for the quick recovery of those that are responding fast to treatment," the official said.
Dozens of people have lost their lives at similar charity events. For instance, in May 2011, several people died at the Mandate House, Ilorin, as they scrambled for rice and other items. In November 2010, at least 11 others died in a similar fashion, with Kwara government verifying only four deaths.
*See what poverty has caused... God have mercy on this nation.