Posted by News Express | 2 November 2013 | 4,556 times
The Coordinator of the Religious Tolerance Initiative (RTI), an Onitsha-based NGO, Brother Chris Eluemuno, has condemned the alleged disruption of the All Saints Day Vigil Mass at the Adoration Ministry of St Dominic Catholic Church Uke, Anambra State, which led to a stampede in which 25 persons were reported dead and many others injured in the early hours of yesterday.
Brother Eluemuno who addressed journalists at Crown Hospital Nkpor where some injured persons were treated, blamed the tragedy on a group youths playing out a script for some desperate opposition politicians. He called on Anambra people and all persons of goodwill to condemn the current moves by some people he called the “familiar agents of destabilization” to return the state to the dark days that prevailed from 2003 to 2006 before the administration of Governor Peter Obi rescued state from their choking grip.
According to Brother Eluemuno, “I witnessed an attempt by a group of boys at a corner of the ground chanting ‘Onwa!’ ‘Onwa!’ heckling and interrupting the brief speech by Governor Peter Obi. Things seemed to return to normal after the governor and his entourage left the venue but not long after, there were loud explosions from bangers and fire-crackers and shouts of “fire, fire” orchestrated by that disruptive group. A stamped began immediately after that and some people were trampled to death. Why are people disrespecting constituted authorities just to score a political point? Is any political office worth the loss of human life?”
Brother Eluemuno also observed that leaders are ordained by God and that any attempt to grab a leadership position by the arm of flesh will not only fail but lead to regrettable consequences. He reminded Anambrarians that the greatest threat to their peace of mind was not poverty or lack but a callous leadership which would stop at nothing to foist itself on the people.
The religious tolerance advocate also observed that Anambra State has enjoyed relative peace in the last seven years due largely to the peaceful and humane disposition of the current administration. He urged politicians across the divide to eschew bitterness and desist from actions that could lead to conflict and senseless violence.
Condoling the bereaved families and the entire Anambrarians, Brother Eluemuno called for special prayers for the repose of the souls lost in the unfortunate stampede on the Adoration Ground.
•Photo shows the Adoration Ground, Uke, Anambra State, after the stampede.
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