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PH stampede: Jonathan orders special training for security agencies

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday, ordered the nation’s security agencies to undertake special training courses on crowd control.

Jonathan issued the directive at the Federal Executive council meeting on Wednesday

The directive followed the loss of several lives in a stampede at the Port Harcourt Liberation Stadium when Jonathan inaugurated his presidential campaign in the South-South. The incident, which is currently being investigated, has been blamed on poor crowd control measures implemented by security operatives at the stadium’s gates.

Addressing jurnalists after the one-hour meeting, Information and Communications Minister, Mr. Labaran Maku, said Jonathan stressed that although there had been similar crowd control problems in the past, necessary measures must be taken to prevent future occurrence.

“The President today called for the special training of security agencies in the management of crowds to avoid future occurrence of the tragedy in Port Harcourt last week.

“The President said this situation had happened in the past, but efforts must be made to train security operatives on how to manage huge crowds”, Maku said.

The minister added that FEC formally commiserated with the President, the Peoples Democratic Party, the people of the South-South and all Nigerians on the tragedy. This was done through a motion moved by Maku.

The motion reads in part, “Members of the Executive Council recall the tragic incident that occurred at the mammoth rally that the people of the South-South mounted to receive you during your presidential launching for South-South last Saturday in Port Harcourt (sic).

“This tragic event which was a sad ending in an otherwise an exemplary show of support by the people of South-South to your (President Jonathan’s) own presidential ambition, has just reminded us again that sometimes, even at the best moments, the enemy is always lurking around.

“The people of the South-South in that rally proved that indeed not only are they in total solidarity with Mr. President and Vice-President in the forthcoming elections, but went the extra mile to bring out virtually all their people to show their solidarity.

“And because of the level of crowd that massed in Port Harcourt which is indeed an affirmation of the popularity of Peoples Democratic Party candidate in the forthcoming elections, the unfortunate occurrence of the stampede led to loss of lives.”

The motion stated that the President took up the challenge of addressing the situation by sending Vice-President Namadi Sambo to Port Harcourt to commiserate with the families of the dead and visit the injured.

FEC, at the behest of the President, observed a minute’s silence for those who lost their lives in the incident.

Meanwhile, the leaders of some political parties have urged security agencies to evolve better crowd control measures at rallies, in a bid to avert stampede. They also condoled with the President and the families of the deceased.

Chairman, Publicity Committee of Patriotic Electoral Alliance of Nigeria, Chief Damian Ogbonna, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday that effective crowd control and security at political rallies should be addressed urgently.

The National Chairman, Nigerian Peoples Party, Chief Ngozi Emioma, called on the authorities to take appropriate steps to avert another stampede.

He said, “The greatest honour we can give those who lost their lives is to conduct credible, free, fair and transparent elections.”

National Chairman, Citizens Popular Party, Chief Maxi Okwu, said, “We are saddened by the death of innocent Nigerians who deserved a breath of fresh air in governance in the stampede.”


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Posted by on Feb 16 2011. Filed under Latest Politics, Rivers, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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