The Federal Government yesterday donated relief materials to victims of the Port Harcourt Polo Club stampede that claimed 36 lives.
The stampede took place on May 28 at the outreach, organised by the Kings Assembly Church.
The Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Mustapha Ahmed, during a condolence visit to the Rivers State Government and victims in Port Harcourt handed the materials to the lead Pastor of the church.
The items are: 1,000 bags of rice (10kg), 50 kegs of vegetable oil, 30 cartons of seasoning cubes, 20 bags of salt, 21 cartons of tin tomatoes, 1,000 pieces of nylon mat, 1,000 pieces of towels.
Others are: 1,000 pieces of mosquito nets, 50 cartons of bath soap, 500 pieces of materasses, 500 pieces of blankets, 500 of brocade, 500 pieces of wax print, 100 packets of diaper, 100 packets of sanitary pads, 100 bags of detergents.
The DG stated that NEMA has developed several plans and guidelines in fulfilling its mandate, which include National Disaster Response Plan.
The Search and Rescue/Epidemic Evacuation Plan, the National Nuclear and Radiological Plan, and the Early Warning System on Epidemics among others.
Ahmed said that NEMA is ready to collaborate and synergise with the stakeholders in various thematic areas within the disaster management cycle.
In his response, Gov. Nyesom Wike, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government through NEMA, saying that the state is happy that the Federal Government has responded to the victims.
Wike, represented by his Deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, stated that Rivers State Government has always taken proactive measures in the prevention and management of disasters.
According to Wike, nobody prays for disaster or hopes for the fatal stampede which was unfortunate.
“We are very sorry; it is a real tragedy, particularly for those who lost their lives, and families who are bereaved.
“We will make sure that nothing close to that happens again, we are grateful to NEMA and we are happy that the FG has responded to us,” he stated.
He stated that the Ministry of Special Duties had visited the Church and the victims in hospital, adding that those who were admitted had all been discharged.
The Governor advised NGOs, churches, and well-meaning, individuals who want to conduct such outreach programmes to work with the Department of Emergency in the Ministry of Special Duties whose doors are open to help.
Mr Chris Ugoh, the Lead Pastor of the King’s Assembly, Port Harcourt, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government through NEMA for assisting the church and the families of the victims of the polo club stampede.
Ugoh also thanked Gov. Wike for all he had done since the unfortunate incident in the state.
According to Ugoh, “we are deeply sorry for what happened because since 2014 that we started serving the city every year, seeing to the needs of orphans, the less privileged, carrying out skills acquisition and empowerment programmes, we have not experienced such an ugly incident or any problem.
“We pray that such a thing will never happen again.
“I’m particularly touched that the Director General can make out time to come and see us today, everything will be safe and appropriately distributed so that the people that should get this will get it,” Ugoh said.
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