Zakaat distribution claims 7 lives in Bauchi


By Umar Sa’id, Bauchi

Bauchi State Police Command has confirmed that seven lives were lost at the venue of the distribution of Zakaat by a Bauchi based philanthropist, the Chairman of AYM Shafa Group of Companies.

The crowd, largely women, old and young, married women gathered at the Jos road headquarters of the Company as early as 6am on Sunday for the distribution of the Zakaat items while others were said to have slept at the venue.

According to the Spokesperson of the State Police Command, SP Ahmed Wakili, the seven people were confirmed dead as a result of the stampede that occurred over the weekend.

Wakili gave out the identities of the dead ones as Aisha Usman ‘f’ aged 13yrs of Gwang Gwang Gwang Bauchi, Sahura Abubakar ‘f’ aged 55yrs of Anguwan Bauchi, Aisha Ibrahim Abubakar ‘f’ aged 43yrs of Kobi Street Bauchi, Khadija isah ‘f’ aged 8yrs of Karofi Bauchi, Maryam Suleiman ‘f’ aged 20yrs of Kandahar Bauchi, Maryam Shuaibu ‘f’ aged 16 years of Gwang Gwan Gwan Bauchi and Hassana Saidu ‘f’ aged 53 years of Dutsen Tanshi Bauchi.

It was reliably gathered that the zakaat distribution exercise started smoothly as the beneficiaries were called in groups to receive the money until the others became restless and apprehensive leading to struggle to get into the main premises.

In the process, a stampede occurred as the women tried to force themselves inside while in the process, many of them fell on the ground and were trampled upon leading to the casualties and they were rushed to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi for medical attention where those victims were confirmed dead.

While confirming the development, State Police Command PPRO, SP Ahmed Wakili said that the Command received a distress call from ATBUTH on the people being rushed there for medical attention and on receiving the distress call, the Commissioner of Police, Auwal Musa Mohammed immediately directed for urgent mobilization of personnel to the scene of action.

“On getting to the scene, the Police operative joined in the rescue operations, cordoned off the area in order to prevent further casualties while the exercise was stopped and the victims were rushed to the ATBUTH unconscious after which a Medical Doctor confirmed that seven of them were dead”, he said

The PPRO also said that the Command frowns at such development which put the lives of people at risk considering the present economic situation in the country adding that the Command is appealing to individuals and organisations that have plans of embarking on such to adequately inform the Command in order to mobilize personnel to the venue for effective crowd control.