Body of Christ

Port Harcourt Church Stampede: King’s Assembly Reacts 

Rita Enemuru, Reporting

FOLLOWING the killing of over 30 persons during a stampede in Port Harcourt on Saturday morning, organisers of the outreach have reacted to the tragedy.

King’s Assembly which organised the outreach as its annual programme, the event had hardly commenced when the stampede occurred.

The assembly’s Director of Administration, Chimeka Elem, in a statement obtained by Stonix News, said the crowd that arrived the venue of the humanitarian exercise was huge and unanticipated.

“The King’s Assembly is deeply saddened by the stampede incident that happened in the early hours before the commencement of our benevolence and outreach program called Shop-for-Free at Polo Club, in Port Harcourt on Saturday, May 28, 2022.

“The purpose of this non-denominational event is to share with the less privileged the gifts provided by our members, friends and partners.

“Unfortunately, lives were lost and several people sustained varying degrees of injuries.

“Our Medical Team have been working with medical volunteers, and the Military Hospital in Port Harcourt to provide emergency medical services to those affected in this incident.

“While the incident has been reported to the Nigerian Police Force, the church has commissioned a team of safety specialists to establish the immediate causes of the stampede to enable us provide the authorities all required information in compliance with public safety laws.

“The King’s Assembly is a safety conscious organization and will always take the safety of our congregation very seriously.

“Our Shop-for-Free program was started in 2014 as our annual benevolence outreach, and our choice of the large venue, Polo Club, was to accommodate the projected attendance.

“This year’s turnout, buildup and the attendant circumstances were absolutely unanticipated. The crowd converged overnight long before the security teams for the event took formation,” the statement noted.

The church, however, disclosed that it is reviewing its public safety protocol and “advance crowd management procedures to persistently ensure that our events are safe.”

The assembly promised to provide further details to the public, adding that “in the meantime, the church is rapidly tracing and engaging the affected families while we encourage our members and friends to hold up the affected families in prayers.”

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