JUST IN: Customs Halts Sale of Food Items After Recording Deaths During Stampede

JUST IN: Customs Halts Sale of Food Items After Recording Deaths During Stampede

Fawaz Adebisi

The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS has announced the suspension of the sale of seized food items at cheaper prices to Nigerians following a tragic incident at its Old Zonal Headquarters in Yaba, Lagos State.

Abdullahi Maiwada, the Customs Public Relations Officer, confirmed the decision in a statement on Monday.

He revealed the decision in response to the unfortunate stampede that resulted in fatalities.

Last Friday, the Customs initiated the disposal of seized food items at its Yaba office, in collaboration with other security agencies such as the Nigeria Police Force.

The event commenced smoothly at 8am, with over 5000 beneficiaries and members of the press witnessing the distribution process.

Maiwada noted, “We enjoyed the cooperation of the large crowd that obliged us, giving preferences to the elderly, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable Nigerians who showed up for the exercise.”

However, unforeseen challenges arose when the stock ran out, prompting the announcement of a continuation the following day.

This announcement triggered a desperate surge within the crowd, breaching barricades in search of rice bags within emptied containers. Tragically, this resulted in fatalities and injuries.

Expressing condolences, Maiwada stated, “The Customs extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the unfortunate incident.”

The Service also affirmed its commitment to working with health authorities to offer support and engage directly with the victims’ families.

It also stressed that it has initiated an internal investigation to ascertain the circumstances leading to the stampede.

As a result, the Service announced the suspension of the exercise until a comprehensive understanding of the events of Friday, February 23, 2024, is established

“This should help us to properly articulate more robust and comprehensive action that will not defeat the noble intention,” the Service declared.


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