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TRAGEDY: How Two Female Nasarawa Varsity Students Died In Stampede Over Palliatives– VC

pALLIATIVES

Tragedy at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, as no fewer than two female students of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, reportedly died during a stampede that occurred at the university’s convocation square on Friday morning.

The convocation square, City Round gathered, was the venue for the distribution of bags of rice as palliatives to the students by the Nasarawa State government aimed at reducing their suffering.

A source within the university told our correspondent that at least 10 others were left with varying degrees of injuries.

“What we are hearing now is that two female students have died. They were said to have been suffocated because of the crowd and they were later declared dead by the healthcare workers,” the source said.

Governor Abdullahi Sule recently distributed two 7.5 kg bags of rice and N5,000 to each student of the Federal University of Lafia, Isa Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic, Lafia, and the College of Education, Akwanga.

It was gathered that the state government had provided two 7.5kg bags of rice and a cash gift of N5,000 for each student at the state university’s convocation square but just before the official commencement of the distribution exercise, a crowd of students stormed the venue, carting away the items.

Confirming the tragic incident, the National President of the Nasarawa State Students Association, Yunusa Baduku, said that most of the students involved in the stampede were rushed to hospitals in the area for medical attention.

He said, “Seriously, what happened this morning at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, is uncalled for, and very pathetic.

“After our arrangement for the distribution of palliatives to the students which was to be held at the university’s convocation square, they (the students) suddenly arrived at the venue in their numbers and overpowered the security (agents).

“They broke through the gate into the convocation square where the bags of rice were to be shared. Unfortunately, most of our female students sustained varying degrees of injuries, while others suffocated because of the crowd at the venue for the distribution of the palliatives.

“Right now, I am at the Federal Medical Center, Keffi, where we brought some of our students for emergency treatment. Also, as the National President of NASA, I got an official report that one student died as a result of the unfortunate incident.

“For the numbers of those injured, I cannot confirm that at the moment because some of them are at the school’s clinic while others are here at the FMC, Keffi receiving treatment.”

Baduku, however, commended the university’s management, student leaders, and representatives of the state government for their prompt action in assisting the students to get quick medical attention.

While mourning the death of the students, Governor Sule, in a statement made available to newsmen in Lafia on Friday through his Chief Press Secretary, Ibrahim Addra, expressed shock over the incident.

He, therefore, ordered a detailed investigation to identify those responsible for the sad incident.

“The sad incident is reported to have occurred when suspected hoodlums and some misguided students forced their way into the school’s convocation ground to cart away the rice kept at the venue meant for distribution as palliatives to students.

“This misfortune happened only hours before the scheduled official commencement the same morning. Sule had come up with the widely applauded initiative to distribute rice and N5,000 cash to each student in all tertiary institutions in the state.

“Governor Sule deeply regrets the tragic death of two students of the institution in this needless stampede motivated by crime. The governor has since directed the authorities of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, and security agencies to commence an immediate investigation into the unfortunate occurrence to unveil those behind it.

Speaking on the development in an interview with journalists, the Vice-Chancellor of the university Prof Suleiman Bala, said the state government had been prepared to provide palliatives for 4,000 students of the university, with each student expected to get two bags of rice with some money attached.

“But unfortunately, our students were not patient enough to follow the process of accessing these palliatives. There was a stampede, many of them got injured, and two of the students lost their lives.”

“The Deputy Governor of the state was here to commiserate with us on the matter. We agreed that the school management and the state government would set up high-powered committees to investigate the matter and come up with recommendations,” he added.